Chapter 743: Even worse news Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Both Han Yunxi and Long Feiye seemed to know who was knocking and tacitly agreed to ignore it.
“How is the poison beast doing?” Long Feiye asked next. Although he hadn’t see it defend Han Yunxi, he had heard their movements. He knew that she would have died long ago if it wasn’t for its protection.
His words were like a knife stabbing Han Yunxi in the heart. Once her poison storage space had recovered, she placed Lil Thing into the poison pond to recuperate. She even added some of its most precious poisons into the water to intensify its toxicity, hoping that it could help out the little creature. Although she hadn’t taken any of its blood this time, Lil Thing had been beaten back to its true form so soon after regaining its health. It must be very wounded now.
“It’s recovering in the poison storage space and still unconscious,” Han Yunxi’s tone grew grave.
Long Feiye remained silent without a word.
“In the future, you’re not allowed to toss it about!” Han Yunxi added earnestly.
But Long Feiye had stopped throwing Lil Thing around ever since he lost their last bet. He lowered his head, feeling a little awkward. “It’s been a long time since I’ve tossed it…”
“Then you’re not allowed to bully it, or look down on it, or dislike it, or be mean to it!” Han Yunxi glared daggers at Long Feiye, extremely serious.
Long Feiye avoided her gaze, which only made her angrier. What does he mean by this? Does he still scorn Lil Thing?
Han Yunxi was about to lose it when Long Feiye stuttered back, “I...I’ll treat...I’ll treat him well.” He stumbled over his words, but the fact that he said them in the first place was enough proof of his sincerity.
“That’s more like it!” Han Yunxi was finally satisfied. She didn’t even realize the large fortune she’d snatched for Lil Thing’s sake. Long Feiye had ever said such words twice: once in his heart, when he promised to treat Han Yunxi well, and now to Lil Thing.
Unfortunately, Lil Thing was unconscious, or else it would have jumped for joy. After all, it could understand human speech now. Meanwhile, the knocking outside had finally stopped. A low, rather hoarse voice spoke up. “Feiye, let’s talk about tomorrow’s ranking matches…”
It was none other than the sword sect master, Li Jianxin.
Long Feiye glanced at Han Yunxi before going to the entrance. If Li Jianxin hadn’t come on his own, Han Yunxi’s earlier tirade would have all been for nothing. Opening the doors revealed the old man in his same haggard state. He must have headed here as soon as he left the ninth floor and looked like he’d aged a decade in an instant. A single gust of wind looked liable to topple him. Fortunately, his eyes were sharp and clear, meaning that his mind was sober--extremely so.
Han Yunxi stood behind Long Feiye as she examined the sword sect master. Although she’d witnessed it with her own eyes, it was still hard to believe that the old man could look so helpless. The sword sect master purposely avoided her gaze as Long Feiye invited him in to talk. Han Yunxi had no idea how ferocious the fighting tomorrow would be, but Li Jianxin was perfectly clear. After fighting for three days and three nights, now they were sitting down together as two intelligent men. There was no need for explanations when both understood the severity of the situation before them.
“How certain are you for tomorrow?” the sword sect master got straight to the point.
If Long Feiye hadn’t left closed door cultivation ahead of time, he would never ask this question. A Long Feiye who had completely conquered the power of the Lustbite Seal could defeat Cang Qiuzi as easily as turning over his hand. But since Long Feiye had emerged early and fought with him for three days and nights, the sword sect master couldn’t judge his current condition beyond the fact that victory wasn’t certain.
“A night’s rest should be enough,” Long Feiye replied. The sword sect master immediately knitted his brows in disbelief. Before he could ask, he saw Long Feiye shoot him a look. It was obvious that he didn’t want Han Yunxi to know the truth. Only then did the sword sect master remember how Long Feiye had concealed the facts of the Lustbite Seal from her as well.
Knowing this, he said, “I’ll check your pulse.”
Long Feiye stuck out his wrist, and the sword sect master took his pulse. Instantly, his face turned green. Even Han Yunxi could tell that something was wrong.
“How is it?” she asked anxiously.
“Nothing too serious,” Long Feiye replied immediately.
Han Yunxi was much more sober than before. She had broken into sobs at the sight of Long Feiye’s mangled back, so she’d never believe the nonsense he was spewing now. It was obvious that he was trying to console her. She glared at him with enough venom to kill. “Liar! I’ll never trust you again!”
Long Feiye’s heart gave a lurch at the statement as an indescribable fear took over him. He stared at Han Yunxi’s accusatory expression and found himself at a loss. Han Yunxi didn’t notice his odd reaction and quickly went to ask the sword sect master, “How is his condition now? Is it very serious? What will be the consequences if he fights with Cang Qiuzi?”
Unless we’re absolutely certain of victory, we shouldn’t fight at all, Han Yunxi thought. You’re responsibility for your own life or death in the ranking matches. If Cang Qiuzi grabs hold of a weak point, it’ll be a narrow escape from death.
When the sword sect master didn’t speak, Han Yunxi said directly, “Li Jianxin, you were the one who raised a wolf like Cang Qiuzi. Clean up your own mess! Long Feiye won’t fool around in the ranking matches anymore!”
Although the sect leader was prohibited from participating in the ranking matches, he could kill off Cang Qiuzi this very night if he wished. Weren’t all the crimes that Duanmu Yao exposed enough to pin him as a criminal?
So what if he doesn’t want internal strife or factions killing each other? So what if he’s trying to keep the Heretical Sword Sect away? Those were all excuses. Why does Long Feiye have to risk his life to keep the appearance of peace on Celestial Mountain? Li Jianxin has the skills to deal with Cang Qiuzi himself! If it’s going to be chaos, then let things run wild.
Long Feiye saw Han Yunxi wavering between worry and indignation before his heartrate finally calmed down. He smiled at her indulgently but didn’t say a word. The sword sect master was smiling as well. His hair was a mess, his old face streaked with tearstains, making his expression amiable and easy to approach. “As things stand now, it doesn’t matter if chaos breaks out on Celestial Mountain. Lass, news must have spread down mountain by now. Celestial Mountain can fall into turmoil--this old man can kill Cang Qiuzi now, too. But Feiye needs tomorrow’s ranking matches and that victory. He needs the position of sword sect master and the strength of the martial arts world. Otherwise, he’ll be hard pressed to face off against Medical City, much less protect you.”
Han Yunxi calmed down as she understood. No matter what, Long Feiye had to win this match!
“How’s the situation?” Long Feiye finally spoke.
“Don’t worry, tonight I’ll help you,” the sword sect master said seriously. Now he met Han Yunxi’s eyes sincerely. “Lass, you were right. This old man will take care of the wolf that I raised up.”
Just what is he going to do? And what’s Long Feiye’s condition? Han Yunxi was still lost in the dark. She wanted to ask Long Feiye for answers, but she was afraid that he’d lie to her again. She could only wait for the sword sect master to join them tonight. Not long after he left, they received another piece of news: Duanmu Yao had been thrown into the Celestial Dungeon by the sword sect master.
Celestial Dungeon was Celestial Mountain’s highest security prison, a true cage that laid beneath its grand plaza. Each and every cell was bordered by four walls and a ceiling made of out intersecting iron bars. Anyone locked inside them would never rise again, forced to be stepped on underfoot by everyone else.
“He’s finally come to his senses,” Long Feiye murmured. All these years, he’d never thought that master had truly gone insane. At most, he was drunk with grief. Han Yunxi had ripped the old man’s scars apart today and pained him to reality.
As night fell, Xu Dongling came with two letters from South Ning Prefecture, both bearing bad news. News of Han Yunxi’s status as a descendant of the Poison Sect had spread throughout the entire continent. Medical City was the first to act, demanding Medicine City to stop cooperating with Pill Fiend Pharmacy. It also limited all treatment activities by its doctors in South Ning. As soon as the rumors had spread, Gu Beiyue was first to raise his suspicions and demand Medical City provide evidence.
Han Yunxi was in the distant Celestial Mountain, where only its disciples had ever glimpsed her poison beast. Medical City couldn’t provide proof right away, thus giving Medicine City the excuse to delay its reply. Neither did all of the doctors in the medical community withdraw from the prefecture. But the commander-in-chief’s estate in South Ning had already split into two camps. One group persisted in believing Long Feiye and Han Yunxi as innocents while demanding proof, while the other wanted a personal explanation from Long Feiye himself, and for him to hand over Han Yunxi to Medical City as compensation for her guilt.
Meanwhile, the battle between the three nations were still raging strong. Ning Cheng had chosen to stand on Medical City’s side to censure Long Feiye for colluding with the Poison Sect. Tianan and Western Zhou didn’t publicly express their views, preferring to wait and see. That wasn’t the worse news yet. Apparently, Ning Cheng had somehow gotten his hands on a massive cargo of red coat cannons and had concentrated their forces against the Mu Clan troops in the eastern border. Then he personally led an expedition to kill his way to the west. The Ning and Chu Clan troops found themselves embroiled in a fierce struggle. The Western Zhou emperor had staked his entire nation’s strength in Fenglin Prefecture to fight back.
Long Feiye’s expression grew grave. Ning Cheng’s newest move went beyond his expectations. He had guessed that Cloud Realm Trade Consortium was hiding more red coat cannons, and that Ning Cheng was holding them in reserve as an ace against Northern Li. He was the kind of prudent man who would never ignore the threat from the north while fighting dual battles on east and west. But what made Ning Cheng turn suddenly impulsive? Why was he staking everything on a single side?
The situation had turned serious. There was a sudden change in the stalemate between three nations, internal strife within South Ning’s commander-in-chief’s estate, and uncertainty as to how long Gu Beiyue could hold out. Once Medical City made moves to sanction the entirety of South Ning, its own government would break apart at the seams without any prompting from Ning Cheng. Han Yunxi’s face only grew ashen as she read the news. She always knew that Medical City was a powerful entity, but she never thought that the medical profession would be strong enough to suppress all forces of money, grain, and armies to hold the political climate hostage.
Without doctors, the people would panic. When they panicked, the country would fall into chaos.
Even if she was the descendant of the Poison Sect--no, even if she was just doing bad deeds all the time--the medical academy had no right to threaten Long Feiye by removing all its doctors! They were simply toying with the common people’s lives!
Treating illnesses, saving people, and studying medicine were all secondary concerns to the medical academy. For them, the medical arts were simply another weapon to use against dissidents. Han Yunxi hadn’t been curious about the Poison Sect’s history before, nor did she pay attention to their long enmity against the medical academy. Now she wished she knew more.
“I really shouldn’t have come to Celestial Mountain,” she reproached herself.
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