Chapter 726: She wants to be like him, much stronger

The Abstinence Hall within the Abstinence Courtyard consisted of 49 rooms, each with its own garden. They were divided into “light” and “dark” rooms, with the former resembling normal residences while the latter were stone-lined secret chambers. Those with light crimes stayed in the “light” rooms, where they were confined to meditate and practice their sword arts. Those that committed serious crimes were locked in the “dark” rooms until they finished serving their sentences. No one was to disturb them during their imprisonment. 

Long Feiye was sentenced to reflect on his mistakes, so he was allocated a dark room. Granny You had a good understanding of the situation once the sword sect master arrived in secret to give his disciple some advice. She arranged for Long Feiye to stay in the most hidden--and by extension, safest--of the rooms. Before the sword sect master, Long Feiye simply hugged Han Yunxi as if nobody else was present. He spoke plenty during their trip, the most that Han Yunxi had ever heard him talk. He reminded her of everything she had to know and even superfluous information she didn’t need. After that, he simply held her quietly.

Han Yunxi didn’t get any chance to speak the whole way here. She was about to open her mouth when Long Feiye suddenly released her and said, “Wait for me.”

“I will,” Han Yunxi promised. When she saw that he was about to let go of her hand, she quickly added, “Wait, I still have something to say.”

“Mm,” Long Feiye assented and waited.

Han Yunxi scooted to his ear and whispered the secret of the needle she’d given to Cang Qiuzi. Long Feiye nodded and commented, “Excellent. Is there anything else?”

Han Yunxi shook her head. But when Long Feiye prepared to release her hand again, she stopped him. “There’s another thing!” 

Once again, he patiently offered her his ear and waited. But this time there was nothing for her to say--nothing major at least, she just wanted him to hold her a bit longer. Both the sword sect master and Granny You watched them from the side. She was smiling soundlessly at the old man, who only pretended he saw nothing as he stared sternly out the door. Naturally, Long Feiye understood the little knots in Han Yunxi’s heart. Yet in the end, he still let go, reminding her, “Be good, it’s only for a month.”

Han Yunxi had always been free and easy in her behavior, but this time she was reluctant to part. Despite that, she still relented in the end.

Abruptly, Long Feiye lowered his head and kissed her deeply. He didn’t linger, but pulled back as soon as he finished and left without a second glance for the secret chambers. Han Yunxi wanted to follow, but Granny You held her back. Meanwhile, the sword sect master followed after his disciple and shut the door behind him. Looking at the sturdy stone door, Han Yunxi suddenly felt a little lost. It felt as if the world had turned empty and desolate except for herself. 

I prepared myself for this. Why do I still feel surprised by it all?

The two of them had hardly parted ways since he took her out of the Tianning capital on the night of the great unrest. Actually, she didn’t know he had been following her carriage in secret during the entire trip to South Ning. Perhaps it was more accurate to say that the two of them had rarely been apart since their wedding night, when she treated his poison. But now they were separated by a single wall, for one entire month.

So near, yet so far. For the first time in her life, Han Yunxi felt it hard to bear. He had only just left, but she was already pining for him. I must love this man more than I thought.

The sword sect master said he only had to exchange a few words, but he didn’t emerge until after a full two hours. Granny You didn’t urge Han Yunxi, but only left her with a sentence, “You’re here to accompany him during his punishment. Don’t be rowdy, and don’t run about if you have nothing else to do.”

“Understood. Many thanks to Granny You,” Han Yunxi replied sincerely.

Granny You didn’t wait for the sword sect master to emerge and turned to leave. Han Yunxi only knew that the old man was there to assist Long Feiye in his cultivation, but nothing else. She leaned against the stone door, trying to listen for any sounds within, but she didn’t hear a thing. Then she tried to calm her heart by seizing the time to cultivate. She was still stuck in the first stage of her poison storage space and had not broken through. Despite being on Celestial Mountain, various forces were moving beneath the mountain, especially that mysterious high level poisons expert. Concealed within the shadows, he or she was simply waiting for the perfect moment to strike. If she was hopeless at martial arts, then she had to strengthen her poison skills. I have to grow stronger!

Time always passed quickly in the midst of cultivation. Han Yunxi sat down with crossed legs on a bamboo mat and did her best to still her heart. But instead of meditating, she accidentally summoned Lil Thing into the world instead. Lil Thing was still nurturing its poison blood by staying in the poison pond, so it hardly had time to react when it was summoned out of the blue. Like a ball, it rolled on the ground before crashing against the door with a whump. Crawling to its feet, it rubbed its butt and looked with confusion at the sturdy door. 

I crashed into it so hard but it doesn’t hurt? I must have gotten fatter. 

It looked back at Mama Yunxi, then towards the outside. Before it could run away, Han Yunxi shouted, “Come over here, and don’t run about!”

Lil Thing immediately scrambled up Han Yunxi and started cheeping nonstop. Han Yunxi couldn’t understand it, so it nuzzled the white jade crystal bracelet at her wrist as if to ask, ‘Where’s Papa Long, why isn’t he here?’

“He has to stay behind closed door cultivation for a month. That’s why we need to depend on each other for survival, understand? You’re not allowed to run about or cause trouble. There are plenty of eyes on us,” Han Yunxi explained as she pointed at the stone door. Lil Thing couldn’t understand her, but it knew that Papa Long was inside that room.

Neither the gentleman or Papa Long is here. Alright, I’ll protect Mama Yunxi!

Thus, Lil Thing curled up in Mama Yunxi’s lap and began to consider a question. Am I protecting Mama Yunxi for the gentleman or for Papa Long? I should be doing it for the gentleman, but Papa Long hasn’t thrown me out of any window for ages.

If Han Yunxi could read Lil Thing’s mind right now, would she kick it straight off the mountain? Its life mission was to protect her, alright? Why did it matter who it was protecting her for?


One day later, the sword sect master finally emerged from the room. As soon as the stone door opened, Lil Thing darted out from Han Yunxi’s lap and ran straight for the gap. Unfortunately, the sword sect master simply batted it away with a swipe of his hand. This time the impact hurt plenty, but Lil Thing gritted its teeth and tried again. Unfortunately, the door was already shut. Only Mama Yunxi and a white-haired man were standing in front of it now. Lil Thing didn’t know who that old thing was, but it rushed towards Mama Yunxi to tug desperately at the hem of her robes while scratching at the stone door. It was anxious!

It had smelled the scent of blood coming from inside. Although the scent was faint, it was unmistakable. Something must have happened with Papa Long!

“Grandmaster, I just want to take one look,” Han Yunxi pleaded. She couldn’t smell the blood, but Lil Thing’s antics made her worry.

“If you don’t want to be a burden to him, then behave yourself and stay outside,” the sword sect master rebuked bluntly.

Han Yunxi immediately retreated without a word. Lil Thing grew even more anxious and wanted to attack the sword sect master, but Han Yunxi quickly grabbed it up into her arms. “Be good, he’ll be okay. He’s only being shut up in there.” 

Lil Thing calmed down under her ministrations, while the sword sect master looked at the animal with curiosity.

“This is…”

“A spirit beast that Feiye gifted me,” Han Yunxi answered. Even if this was the sword sect master, she couldn’t reveal her ties as a descendent of the Poison Sect. The sword sect master had seen plenty of spirit beasts in his day and didn’t find Lil Thing particularly extraordinary, so he simply turned and left. Han Yunxi looked at the stone door for a little while longer before she immediately shut the entrance to the outer room. She had Lil Thing stand guard for any visitors while she found a hidden spot to sit down and start cultivating. She was certain that Long Feiye would grow stronger after a month. Thus, she had to grow stronger too!

Meanwhile, Cang Qiuzi’s spies didn’t have the skills to track the sword sect master’s movements when he secretly departed. However, they reported on everything else.

“Long Feiye entered the Abstinence Hall yesterday. Han Yunxi moved in to stay there as well,” the spy reported. 

Cang Qiuzi had just finished jabbing another needle into his nail, leaving his head reeling from the pain. It took him a while to recover and say coldly, “This old man is going to pay back this debt with interest!”

The blood sample and needle he’d delivered to Jun Yixie had yet to have any replies. With no other choice, he had to follow Han Yunxi’s prescription and keep stabbing himself with more needles to relieve his stomach pain. In the interim, he’d found many poison doctors in the meantime to examine him. All of them came to the same diagnosis: yes, his stomach was poisoned, but there was no cure for the toxin. Nothing else in his body had been affected. As his pains gradually lessened, Cang Qiuzi gave up relying on Jun Yixie for answers. Three days later, it disappeared completely. 

In truth, Jun Yixie hadn’t received Cang Qiuzi’s missive at all. Instead, it had ended up in the hands of Bai Yanqing. Jun Yixie was still with the Wintercrow Clan and plotting against the second imperial and crown princes while trying to wrangle a horse trading deal with the local barbarians. He had no idea what his master was up to, being wholly focused on horses. As long as he could get them back, Northern Li would be able to join the battle raging between the three factions down south. His heart itched for action after being forced to stay here and out of Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s affairs for so long! 

The grasslands during the fourth lunar month made for an indescribably beautiful sight. Wildflowers dotted the expanse like stars, making it into a field of flowers instead. Of course, even that couldn’t compare to the beauty of the Lake of Blossoms. Flowers grew in profusion on its surface, leaving it covered in large swathes of vegetation. Their endless sights and colors were a lovely sight that resembled a divine paradise on Earth. Bai Yanqing rode on a small boat to its center to stop for a bit of fishing. Soon enough he caught one, but its entire body was black: dead from poison as soon as it took the hook. 

His disciple Bai Yuqiao was stunned by the sight--not because of the fish, but the hook he’d used to catch it. It was made from none other than the needle that Cang Qiuzi had delivered to her senior brother! But whether the fish had died because her master applied poison, or because the needle was originally toxic, she didn’t know. She stared at it intently while knowing that her master wasn’t planning to tell her senior brother about the contents of Cang Qiuzi’s letter.

Recently, her master hadn’t bothered with any matters in the martial arts circles. Even Lady Leng Yue’s death had only left him indifferent. Instead, he was more interested in the conflict raging between the three factions down south, and happenings at the commander-in-chief’s estate in South Ning. Just what did he want to do?


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