Han Yunxi was simply testing the sword sect master’s breaking point! If Duanmu Yao really died, then he would have something to fight about with Long Feiye! On the sidelines, Cang Qiuzi had long given up defending himself against the second and third elder’s interrogation and censure. He didn’t even care about his ruined reputation anymore, excited at the prospect of Duanmu Yao’s death.
Once she dies, Celestial Mountain will succumb to chaos and I’ll win this game!
Veins popped out on the sword sect master’s face from his rage. He glared at Han Yunxi with enough venom to kill.
“Han Yunxi!” Granny You shouted as she pushed aside Long Feiye’s sword. But he was quick to point its tip at her throat, rendering her frozen in place and unable to talk.
Han Yunxi had no fear. She swept her gaze over the surrounding crowd and asked, “You guys say something. Does she deserve to be saved?”
It was as if she spoke to a soundless world. Nobody dared to say “she doesn’t,” but none of them wanted to say “she does.” None of them imagined that the fairy-like beauty, Duanmu Yao, was a hypocrite with a viper’s heart. For the male disciples especially, her beautiful image in their minds had vanished into thin air. Cang Xiaoying wore an icy smile. Despite the fact that her father’s reputation was ruined, Duanmu Yao was utterly discredited. This was enough to keep her happy for days. As long as the girl died, she would be the first and foremost amongst Celestial Mountain’s female disciples now.
Duanmu Yao laid sprawled at Han Yunxi’s feet as she bled from multiple orifices. With life and death hanging in the balance, she had dissolved into a mass of sobbing beyond all reason. The sword sect master’s turbid gaze had already concentrated into a fine killing hum radiating off his blade. But before he could point his weapon, Duanmu Yao began to shout.
“I was framed! Master, senior brother...Han Yunxi, I was framed!”
“Sobsob...I was framed, Cang Qiuzi forced me to do everything! He made me!”
“I didn’t want to, but Cang Qiuzi was worried that senior brother would vie for the position of sect leader. Over the past few years, he’s been forcing me to work with him!”
Duanmu Yao tugged at Han Yunxi’s dress as she pleaded. “Han Yunxi, it was Cang Qiuzi who made me do this. He...he…. He assaulted me, then threatened to tell everyone if I didn’t cooperate. He wanted to destroy my reputation! Han Yunxi, believe me! Han Yunxi, now I’ve really told you everything, you have to believe me!”
A hush fell upon the crowd as deathly stillness settled upon the scene. No one thought things would go so far, much less that Duanmu Yao and Cang Qiuzi had such shameless relations. Han Yunxi herself was shocked. All she wanted to do was force the inside story from Duanmu Yao. She never realized the woman had such a dirty deal with Cang Qiuzi! The silence now was absolute. No one could find any sign of Cang Qiuzi amongst them, so they directed their gaze at Cang Xiaoying.
Each and every look was filled with disdain, mockery, and disgust. Cang Xiaoying felt extremely ashamed as her mind turned blank. She never expected her own father to do such filthy deeds. Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore and muffled her mouth before pushing the crowd aside to fly away.
Cang Qiuzi stood rooted to his spot until Cang Xiaoying’s fleeing, crying form brought him back to his senses. Although he’d assaulted Duanmu Yao to threaten her, he had never planned to expose it in public.
Duanmu Yao is simply...she’s stupid beyond belief! Does she think she’ll gain Han Yunxi’s sympathy with something like that? What a joke.
All of the killing intent on the sword sect master’s face had evaporated, replaced with a quiet stillness. He seemed to have turned into a statue--not even the sound of breathing came from his form. Only his gaze grew murkier by the second, as if he was on the verge of losing all reason. Han Yunxi finally took out the antidote from her pouch just as Long Feiye caught her by the hand.
“What are you doing?” he murmured in a low voice.
“If she dies, Cang Qiuzi will be the happiest one of all. Then our troubles will only increase!” Han Yunxi was very clear minded. She broke free of Long Feiye’s grasp and knelt down to feed Duanmu Yao the antidote. At the same time, a fierce sword qi came flying at her from midair. Long Feiye raised his sword to buffet the blow, allowing Han Yunxi to smoothly feed the girl her antidote. Once Duanmu Yao was sure she’d taken the medicine, she finally relaxed and succumbed to unconsciousness.
Han Yunxi stood up to speak to the sword sect master, only to find that there was something wrong with his eyes. She grew inwardly alarmed. His wandering, distant gaze seemed to hint at signs of madness!
Could it be…
She was about to tell Long Feiye when he suddenly pulled her behind him and pointed his sword in the direction of the previous attack. “Cang Qiuzi, are you too ashamed to show your face?”
Cang Qiuzi appeared from behind a rock with a furious shout, “Duanmu Yao, that treacherous disciples. She might have committed all sorts of sins, but she disappoint this old man’s care for her sake! Now she has the gall to smear this old man’s name. If I don’t kill her, I’ll never rest!”
What a pretentious speech!
But the people present were all intelligent enough to figure out what was going on. There was no threatening or blackmail between the pair. They were clearly in cahoots and had no shame. Duanmu Yao had the sword sect master’s favoritism, so even Cang Qiuzi had to yield before her. If she didn’t go seeking trouble for herself, how would he have been able to threaten her in the first place? On the other hand, if Cang Qiuzi really was so righteous, why did he still come off as shady? Of all the people Duanmu Yao could implicate, why did she pick him?
“Things like that come from mutual consent. Martial Uncle Cang, you’re certainly fortunate in your love affairs! Haha,” someone yelled boldly from the crowd. Immediately, roars of laughter followed in his wake, leaving Cang Qiuzi’s face alternating between shades of red and white.
“Long Feiye,” he roared, “Get out of the way. Otherwise, this old man will kill you too!”
But he’d hardly spoken when the sword sect master picked up Duanmu Yao and fled towards the mountain peak.
“Sect leader, unless we make things clear, I, Cang Qiuzi, will not accept this!” Cang Qiuzi immediately gave chase.
“Long Feiye, it looks like Li Jianxin’s insanity’s acted up again….” Han Yunxi muttered.
Long Feiye took her along to trail after the pair. By the time they arrived, the sword sect master had already taken Duanmu Yao into his quarters in Nine Xuan Hall. Cang Qiuzi had pushed aside the guards to break down the door himself, but Long Feiye stabbed forward in time to stop him, narrowly injuring the old man’s fingers.
Cang Qiuzi immediately retreated as Long Feiye settled to stand in front of the door. “You even dare to barge into the ninth floor? Are you planning to revolt?”
Indeed, Cang Qiuzi had such plans. He’d even made contact with the Heretical Sword Sect. But neither Li Jianxin nor Long Feiye had been as injured as much as he’d liked. Thus, he wasn’t able to capitalize on their fight to his greatest advantage. Not only that, he couldn’t guarantee a victory under these circumstances even if he summoned the Heretical Sword Sect to his side. A successful takeover would be best, but if he happened to lose, he’d be cursed as a scourge and expelled from Celestial Mountain Sword Sect forever. Then he’d have a hard time gaining his footing in the martial arts world and never rise again.
But if I don’t revolt now, I’ll have even less chances later. Duanmu Yao’s already revealed everything. I can’t just keep going on like nothing’s happened!
While Cang Qiuzi hesitated, Long Feiye asked coldly, “Cang Qiuzi, you don’t need to be in a hurry to revolt. Our debts still need to be settled!”
Cang Qiuzi immediately drew back. “Long Feiye, if you have the skills then meet me at the ranking matches!”
Long Feiye didn’t want to agree, but Han Yunxi caught his hand and murmured, “You need to rest.”
He had already fought with the sword sect master for three days and three nights. His stamina had its limits; furthermore, the sword sect master’s status was unclear. What if something worse happened during their bout?
“Fine! Just wait for your death!” Long Feiye declared.
Cang Qiuzi’s heart finally settled into his chest. Although the ranking matches were starting as soon as tomorrow, he still had half a day and an entire night to make preparations. Although Long Feiye’s internal energy had exceeded his expectations, he was certain the man still harbored internal injuries from coming out of cultivation a day early. Moreover, he had fought with Li Jianxin for three days and three nights. It was likely he wouldn’t be able to hold out for long. If he killed Long Feiye in the ranking matches, it would be all fair and square. He wouldn’t have to shoulder any responsibility while showcasing his true strength before the Celestial Mountain disciples.
Once Long Feiye died, Li Jianxin wouldn’t have anyone else to fight for him. He could slowly settle accounts with Duanmu Yao then and make her restore his reputation!
“Hehe, just don’t run off the mountain then!” Cang Qiuzi snorted before turning to leave.
As soon as he was gone, Granny You emerged from her hiding spot in the corner. She only had 10 percent of her true qi left and had managed to fly up the mountain with effort. The exertion had left her with blood trickling nonstop from her lips. She had seen Han Yunxi talk down Long Feiye with her own eyes.
“Han Yunxi…” Granny You exhaled. “This old woman thanks you for putting Celestial Mountain first!”
“Granny You, whatever happens to Celestial Mountain has nothing to do with me,” Han Yunxi remarked. “I only wanted to clear our names and reveal the truth. I wanted the dirty plots and schemes exposed and the Celestial Mountain disciples to see the real difference between right and wrong. Granny You, this is what we call righteousness.”
Granny You never thought a young woman like Han Yunxi could say such words. Actually, everyone understood those principles. But how many of them had actually acted upon them in the past few years? Even the most impartial Abstinence Courtyard had refrained from punishing Duanmu Yao for her involvement with the Hundred Poisons Sect out of fear of the sect leader.
Abruptly, Granny You dearly wished that this woman had been one of her Abstinence Courtyard disciples or a Celestial Mountain pupil. She had long forgotten about things like “Poison Sect descendant.” There were always those whose souls stood upright and dazzling enough for everyone to forget about their birth origins. Han Yunxi was one such person.
“Han Yunxi, no matter what, you still saved Duanmu Yao in the end,” Granny You said. She only hoped that Han Yunxi could show the Celestial Mountain Sword Sect and its sect leader some mercy. Yet she was mistaken. Han Yunxi could stand for righteousness, but she was quick to avenge her debts of gratitude or revenge. She was an unbridled, willful woman.
“Granny You, sometimes just living is torture.”
Compared to Cang Qiuzi, Duanmu Yao’s name was in even more tatters. She was already Celestial Mountain’s shame and laughingstock, so living here would be worse than death! But since she’d already lost her status as the West Zhou princess and all of her martial arts, she had nowhere else to go.
Granny You didn’t know what to say, but she suddenly broke into a smile.
No one can hope to learn this lass’s intelligence or free and easy ways. But they’ll like and admire her all the same.
When Granny You left, Long Feiye glanced at Han Yunxi before kicking open the doors to the ninth floor rooms…Previous Chapter Next Chapter