Chapter 731: Show of strength, struggle just for this day

That’s right, Duanmu Yao flew to Nine Xuan Hall. Over the past few days, she had recovered some of her lightness techniques with her master’s help, although that was all she had now. Despite the heavy injuries to her dantian, which still couldn’t collect qi, her master had somehow found a way to heal some of the injuries by twenty percent via channeling true qi into her body again and again. 

She had vaguely heard her master mention about finding a certain “thing” before he could help her heal completely. Actually, she wasn’t worried about her martial arts at all. She knew that her master would definitely find a way to save her. 

On the ninth floor of Nine Xuan Hall was the sword sect master’s living quarters. Here was a sanctuary that even Duanmu Yao didn’t lightly disturb. But she’d obviously lost all sense of reason today. Nine dragon-head locks secured the door to the top floor quarters. Duanmu Yao rejoiced at the sight, because only she and Long Feiye knew that the sight meant that their master had relapsed into his insanity again. He locked himself inside whenever he had a spell. 

Before Duanmu Yao could speak, a shadow guard emerged and said respectfully, “Princess Duan, no one is permitted to approach without the grandmaster’s orders. Please leave.”

“I have to find my master for something. Unlock the door immediately!” Duanmu Yao ordered. 

“Princess Duan should know the rules of the ninth floor. Please don’t cause difficulties for this subordinate,” the guard replied. Hearing this, Duanmu Yao was now certain that her master had really gone mad this time.


She was planning to provoke him until he succumbed to one of his insanity spells, but now she was saved a ton of effort. As long as her master didn’t interfere, killing Han Yunxi would be almost guaranteed. She’d murder her first, then report it afterwards. Master loved her so much that he wouldn’t do much against her.

“Fine, this princess won’t trouble you then! Haha!” Duanmu Yao turned on her heel and left. The guard could tell that something about her was peculiar today, but as long as she didn’t insist on entering the ninth floor chambers, it had nothing to do with him. 

Meanwhile, Duanmu Yao returned to her own room, took out a bottle of poison, and downed the contents. It was a gift from Jun Yixie upon their first meeting, a famous, hypertoxic poison in the poisons world called Rose Rattan. Any victim afflicted would have strange, vine-line lines appear on their fingertips and then crawl up their arms to cover their entire bodies. Once the lines had fully covered the victim, they would start to suck their blood and blossom into scarlet red roses. At their peak, the blossoms would kill their host, because by then they’d gush with fresh blood until the victim was sucked dry.

It took three full days for the growth of the vines to develop into roses. Anyone who didn’t get the antidote after that would definitely die! Jun Yixie had given Duanmu Yao the antidote along with the poison, but she hadn’t taken it. She told him once that she’d never cure her victim after poisoning them with Rose Rattan. She never thought the day would come when she used it on herself.

Here was her last gamble for the next three days. Between Han Yunxi and herself, one of them would definitely die!

As Duanmu Yao watched the vein-like patterns bulge out from her fingertips and start climbing up, a cold smile rose to her face. Then she ran back to Lockheart Courtyard to find Cang Qiuzi. It wasn’t clear what she told him, but he only asked her one question.

“This is an excellent idea. But you’re certain your master won’t suddenly emerge from closed door cultivation?”

“He won’t today, at least. I can promise with my life!” Duanmu Yao spread out her arms to express her happiness. Even if master’s insanity passed today, he would still spend a few extra days on the ninth floor reminiscing about martial mother. 

Very satisfied, Cang Qiuzi said, “Good! Yao Yao, you didn’t disappoint this old man at all!”

Duanmu Yao grinned before she suddenly burst into tears. “Martial uncle, save Yao Yao! Master’s in closed door cultivation so he doesn’t know about this, only you can save Yao Yao now!”

Without a doubt, she had started her act.

Aiya, what’s wrong with you now?” Cang Qiuzi played along smoothly.

“Han Yunxi, she...she...she sent someone to poison my tea. She wants to kill me!” Duanmu Yao actually shed real tears.

“How dare she? She already forced Long Feiye to shoulder her punishment, but still won’t change her ways? This old man will take charge of today’s events for sure! Come, I’ll bring you with me to find the antidote!” After leaving a few words with a trusted subordinate, Cang Qiuzi took Duanmu Yao all the way to Abstinence Courtyard. As soon as the disciples there spotted him, they went to report to Granny You.

By the time Granny You ran out, Cang Qiuzi had already ignored the people blocking them and charged towards the Abstinence Hall near the back of the mountain, searching room by room for their target. Granny You did a few somersaults in mid-air to land in front of them, blocking them both with her blade! Although she had no idea what had happened, Cang Qiuzi and Duanmu Yao must have made preparations if they charged in so brazenly. Today was Log Feiye’s last day in confinement. No matter what, she had to hold out until he was finished.

Numerous incidents of poisoning had occurred on Celestial Mountain within the month. Many poisonous beasts had appeared as well, alarming the disciples trying to cultivate. Granny You knew that Cang Qiuzi and Duanmu Yao had to be behind the incidents. Duanmu Yao had colluded with the Hundred Poisons Sect in the past, after all. Wouldn’t it be simple for her to obtain such poisons? Their goal was to simply lure out Han Yunxi. 

But Han Yunxi didn’t disappoint her. Even now, she hadn’t taken a single step out of the Abstinence Hall. She wouldn’t let anyone provoke the regulations of Abstinence Hall or Celestial Mountain easily! She couldn’t let down Long Feiye’s trust, much less Han Yunxi’s perseverance! 

As soon as Granny You unsheathed her sword, the ten main disciples under her tutelage did the same when they caught up to stand before her protectively.

“Granny You, what do you mean by this?” Cang Qiuzi demanded angrily.

“I was just about to ask you. Trespassing into Abstinence Courtyard without permission and charging into Abstinence Hall? What’s the meaning of this? It’s fine if you look down on my Courtyard’s rules when the words of the lowly carry little weight,” Granny You spoke, before her tone suddenly turned cold. “But rules of the Abstinence Hall are rules of Celestial Mountain. If you’re challenging them as the head elder, then this old woman will punish you!”

Immediately, she ordered her disciples, “Go to the peak of Celestial Mountain and invite the grandmaster here!”

Granny You was very clear that her skills were no match for Cang Qiuzi. The most she could manage was to stall for time. In truth, she’d already sent someone to find the sect head as soon as she heard of the duo charging in. Her words just then were just spoken for Duanmu Yao and Cang Qiuzi’s benefit.

Duanmu Yao only played the part of a weak victim while silently crowing to herself. Don’t waste your breath trying to bring master here to scare everyone!

Cang Qiuzi glanced at Duanmu Yao and saw that she was unmoved, so he felt even more certain. “Hehe, it’ll be even better if you can invite senior brother here! Let him be the judge of everything today!”

“What’s going on?” Granny You asked.

Cang Qiuzi gave a cold snort. “Han Yunxi sent someone to poison Yao Yao’s tea!”

“Ridiculous!”  Granny You denied it immediately. The same tricks again? When will they give this up?

“Han Yunxi has been undergoing the same confinement for the past month. She’s never taken a step out of Abstinence Hall all this time. This old woman can vouch for her!”

“Even so, it’s possible for someone else to help her poison!” Cang Qiuzi retorted.

“Who is it? Call them out for this old woman to see!” Granny You wouldn’t budge. But Duanmu Yao really did summon a servant from the peak who had voluntarily surrendered themselves and spoke of Han Yunxi’s secret instructions and poison to hurt Duanmu Yao. Of course, plenty of guilty convictions had come from fabricated evidence.

Granny You didn’t buy it. “How could a mere servant’s words serve as proof?”

Duanmu Yao immediately rolled up her sleeves and exposed her arms. The Rose Rattan vines had inched up the back of her hands by now and were reaching her arms.

“This…” Granny You didn’t understand poisons, but she could tell this was no ordinary toxin.

“The poison doctors have already examined me. This is the hypertoxic Rose Rattan poison. Its victims will die without an antidote after three days. It’s a rare poison, not just anyone can have it,” Cang Qiuzi said coldly.

“Who else but Han Yunxi could have such a poison on Celestial Mountain?” Duanmu Yao said, choked with sobs. “Auntie You, I came here today to look for an antidote and seek justice. I’ve already told your disciples, we’re not here just to cause a row!”

A complicated look flickered past Granny You’s eyes. The signs of poisoning on Duanmu Yao’s hands were so evident that it couldn’t be a hoax. And yet, she refused to believe that Han Yunxi would do something so stupid. It was more likely Duanmu Yao had taken the poison herself to frame Han Yunxi. 

“Anyone who enters without this old woman’s permission is causing a row!” Granny You persisted. “You should go explain things to your master first, not throw a tantrum here in my Courtyard with the head elder!” 

“Granny You, master’s in closed door cultivation. As the head of the Council of Elders, Martial Uncle Cang will naturally have to act as my judge in this matter,” Duanmu Yao shot back.

Hearing this, Granny You grew uneasy. Looks like Duanmu Yao planned her timing before she came. 

“Don’t you still have three days until it turns fatal? Wait until your master comes out, then we’ll speak!” Granny You tried next.

“Youmin[1], what kind of words are those? If anything unfortunate happens to Yao Yao, can you afford to shoulder the blame?” Cang Qiuzi raged.

Duanmu Yao broke into sobs again as she turned to leave. “Then I’ll just wait! If master takes five days to come out, I’ll wait five days. If he takes 10, I’ll wait 10 days too!”

She was obviously threatening Granny You! The old woman paused. If something really did happen to Duanmu Yao, she couldn’t afford the consequences. Even if she didn’t care about herself, she had to consider the plight of her disciples. Their progress and advancement all rested on her. 

Seeing Granny You hesitate made Cang Qiuzi relent on purpose. “Youmin, it’s fine if we don’t enter Abstinence Hall. You can call Han Yunxi out to hand over the antidote first! Whether or not she’s guilty can wait until senior brother comes out of closed door cultivation!”

Granny You paused slightly before she spoke. “Alright. Since we know it’s Rose Rattan poison, this old woman will ask Han Yunxi for the antidote. There’s no need for her to show her face. As for the culprit, we’ll do as you say and wait until senior brother emerges from cultivation.”

Duanmu Yao only fumed silently. This Youmin, she’s a pain to deal with! When she caught Cang Qiuzi looking back at her, she immediately started wailing, “If she doesn’t apologize to me, I won’t cure this poison! Even if it kills me!”

“Youmin, this matter isn’t something either of us can shoulder. Either call Han Yunxi out or let us in! You decide!” Cang Qiuzi lost all patience.

Granny You was stuck. She didn’t want to fight them, nor did she have any more counters. Without a choice, she agreed and hoped that Han Yunxi could stall long enough for Long Feiye to emerge. 

“Fine, this old woman will take you over there.” She then told her trusted subordinate, “The entire Courtyard will go on alert. Surround Abstinence Hall, no one is to leak a word of this outside!”

If Han Yunxi can’t buy enough time, then I’ll just go all out against Cang Qiuzi. I’m not worried about Duanmu Yao since her martial arts have been exhausted--she shouldn’t be able to do anything against Han Yunxi by herself.


Han Yunxi was currently facing the wall and counting time with her fingers until Long Feiye came out. But Duanmu Yao’s voice suddenly broke the silence.

“Han Yunxi you slut, get out here!”

1. Youmin (幽敏) - You means “deep and remote, secret,” Min is “quick-witted, nimble/agile.” It is likely Granny You has a surname as well, and that this is just her given name.

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