As Qi Zonglin’s blade rushed towards Han Yunxi, a rock suddenly struck his wrist and caused him to veer off course. Han Yunxi quickly ducked out of the way as she dragged Xu Donglin back with her to increase the distance between them.
“Who’s there?!” Qi Zonglin demanded. But there was no one except the rest of the Carefree City mercenaries. Qi Zonglin’s wrist ached. He looked at his arm and discovered that the so-called “stone” that had struck him was actually a seed that had planted roots into his bloodstream!
Qi Zonglin had never seen something like this before, but he wasn’t an easy foe. Immediately, he took out a dagger and stabbed it into his flesh, intended to dig it out. The roots were quite long, so it was fortunate he had acted quickly. Otherwise, his hand would be seriously injured. No matter where it came from, the seed’s owner had bad intentions! He had to capture Han Yunxi first and then deal with them. But as he approached her, a sluggish, playful voice rose from outside the crowd.
“Even this young gentleman doesn’t dare to bully this girl. Qi Zonglin, have your dog eyes gone blind?”
The voice wasn’t light, but it was impossible to guess which direction it’d came from. All of the other assassins were searching as well, but they couldn’t find anyone. Han Yunxi halted and looked around in disbelief. She couldn’t see anyone either, but she knew who it was!
This playful tone is all too familiar!
“Just who’s there? What kind of hero are you, sneaking attacks on this city lord? Show yourself!” Qi Zonglin threatened as he kept advancing towards Han Yunxi.
She stopped moving and only cast a glance at his wrist before smirking. “Qi Zonglin, do you believe me when I say a certain someone will toss that antidote to the dogs if you take another step forward?”
Greatly alarmed, Qi Zonglin glanced at his wrist again, only to see that the bleeding wound had turned black. He was poisoned!
“Han Yunxi, where’s the antidote?!” He reached for her, but a sudden, burning pain in his hand made him lose all strength. She continued to evade him.
“This is Scorch Toxin. It’ll spread from the source of the wound to the rest of the body. City Lord Qi will quickly experience what it feels to be burnt alive.”
Qi Zonglin wasn’t so easily cowed. He immediately issued orders. “Someone come, capture this slut!” Only with Han Yunxi in his hands did he stand a chance to talking terms with the poisoner. Otherwise, his poison was a lost cause. A few of the Carefree City elders immediately rushed forward, but it was then that a thorny thistle burst out of the ground at Han Yunxi’s feet to grow wildly into the air, its branches waving and dancing like claws. It was precisely from the seed that Qi Zonglin had tossed onto the ground earlier. Now it protected Han Yunxi within its thorns, its bristling vines an awful sight.
How beautiful! That was Han Yunxi’s first thought as she gazed at the vines. For the first time ever, she realized that it was an elegant, pretty plant. Who knew that a so-called nuisance for the roads could be used to protect people as well?
Qi Zonglin’s hand was hurting more by the second. He pressed on his wrist with his other hand and said coldly, “Chop it down!”
“Qi Zonglin, it looks like you don’t want the antidote after all!” the mystery figure chuckled. Although no one could see him, everyone could imagine what he looked like with that laugh. “That’s fine, too. You can just cut off that hand, after all.”
Now everyone could tell the direction of the voice. They turned as one towards the south, while the assassins already there parted to make way. A scarlet silhouette flew in from the skies before landing in front of the dancing vines. He was a man dressed in luxurious red robes as brilliant as fire. His wide sleeves accented his beautiful form, a sight bewitching enough to topple an entire nation or steal people’s souls. Amidst the shock of the crowd, he turned back to grin at Han Yunxi. The dim world seemed to glow at his expression, and even the vines burst into full bloom with crimson flowers.
It was him, Gu Qishao!
“Little Qi...long time no see,” Han Yunxi murmured.
“Who are you?” Qi Zonglin demanded as the other assassins moved to surround them.
“He’s Gu Qishao, hehe. Once he was the owner of the Celestial Fragrance Tea Plantation. I don’t know when he’s become Long Feiye’s hunting dog!” Qi Yaotian mocked. So what if Gu Qishao’s here. He’s only one man. Can he really do anything against all of Carefree City?
“This person is proficient in heretical and crooked methods. His poison skills are formidable as well. Everyone, be careful!” Qi Yaotian reminded.
“Gu Qishao, hand over the antidote and this city lord will spare your life. Otherwise, I’ll cripple both your legs and arms to pay for my hand!” Qi Zonglin warned.
But Gu Qishao simply ignored him to knit his brows at Qi Yaotian. “What did you just say?”
“This young lord says you’re Long Feiye’s hunting dog!” Qi Yaotian refused to back down.
Gu Qishao narrowed his eyes as his tone grew haughty. “Qi Yaotian, do you know when this young gentleman arrived?”
Everyone was confused by his question. What did he mean by that?
“Who cares when you showed up? If you have any sense, you’ll give up the antidote now! Your scamming, mystical ways can trick other people, but not my Carefree City!” Qi Yaotian scoffed.
Gu Qishao ignored him and continued to speak. “This young gentleman was here before you killed any of Long Feiye’s shadow guards.”
What...did he mean by that?
“Do you know why this young gentleman waited until now to make my move?” Gu Qishao asked next.
For some reason, goosebumps rose on Qi Yaotian’s flesh. But he brushed it off to laugh. “Showing off your courage? Hero rescuing the beauty? You’re overestimating your skills and seeking death!”
Gu Qishao played with his pretty, slender fingers as he continued to speak. “It’s because this young gentleman finds Long Feiye extremely annoying. If I didn’t seize this chance to suppress his arrogance a bit, I’d feel uncomfortable all over.”
Even Han Yunxi was mystified by his words. What is Gu Qishao doing? He was here long ago but only waited until now to act. How is he supposed to face off against all these people by himself?
Last time, he’d gotten seriously injured from the Chu Clan archers. This time, they had to deal with an entire Carefree City! Han Yunxi almost wanted to run over and knock him upside the head to tell him to Please, don’t play pretentious now!
“Heheh, then you tell us. How are you going to quell Long Feiye’s arrogance? What, fight us one on ten?” Qi Zonglin chuckled. “How about you fight with this city lord? If you win, my Carefree City will scatter. If you lose, surrender the antidote while I take Han Yunxi. How is it?”
Gu Qishao arched his brow at him in a graceful curve. Even men could be distracted by his looks, to say nothing of women. Qi Zonglin rather admired his pleasing appearance and airs. But abruptly, Gu Qishao’s mood shifted as he spat crudely. Flecks of spittle scattered on Qi Zonglin’s face.
“Your uncle! You think I’m an idiot? Fighting one against ten? Wouldn’t this old fellow just lose miserably? Lemme tell you now, I can’t even fight you one on one! I’ve brought men too! I’m going to fight ten with a hundred!”
Besides Han Yunxi, everyone was startled by Gu Qishao’s sudden shift of personality. But what happened next shocked them even more.
“All of you, come out!”
As soon as Gu Qishao spoke, groups of ashen-faced humans walked out of the woods. All of them were as expressionless as suicide soldiers. Despite not carrying any weapons nor showing any skills in martial arts, the aura of death and aura clinging to their forms was enough to send chills down one’s back. There were enough of them to completely surround the Carefree City mercenaries. Beneath their calm expressions laid panic.
Qi Zonglin’s expression was ghastly as he spoke. “Suicide soldiers…”
Gu Qishao straightened his somewhat disheveled hair before he replied. “No, they’re only Poison Corpses.”
Qi Zonglin almost spat up blood at that comment, while all of the other assassins had paled at the words.
They’re actually Poison Corpses! No wonder they look scarier than suicide soldiers! Jun Yixie raised Poison Corpses too and they were bad enough, but he only had 10 at most. Who knew that Gu Qishao had such a huge contingent of his own! Even if Carefree City could defeat suicide soldiers, they didn’t stand a chance against so many Poison Corpses! Not only were they immune to most poisons, they could poison in turn both soundlessly and formlessly.
Qi Zonglin broke out into cold sweat, completely forgetting about his hand. “Gu Qishao, you, you--”
“How is it? My men are much stronger than Long Feiye’s shadow guards, right!” Gu Qishao asked very seriously. “Qi Zonglin, do you think Long Feiye will admit his loss to me once my Poison Corpses kill your entire city?”
How was Qi Zonglin supposed to answer?
He only felt that the dazzling, demonically beautiful man before him was nothing short of insane! Casting all thoughts of Han Yunxi and the antidote aside, he shouted, “Everyone, withdraw!”
He was the first to take to the skies and flee, with the rest of the Carefree City hurrying suit. All of them escaped to the skies to leave the surrounding Corpses and run for their lives. Gu Qishao didn’t order his men to follow, meaning to let them go on purpose. News of all of Carefree City coming out to attack would spread very soon. He couldn’t very well have his Poison Corpses kill these men when it’d only let more people curse Han Yunxi as a scourge. Poison Corpses were a type of poison gu universally feared by everyone.
Qi Zonglin had been poisoned. If he couldn’t cure himself in time, he would have to chop off his hand. This could count as his revenge for Poison lass’s sake. He was rather indifferent about the bodies of shadow guards littering the ground. He was only gloomy over the fact that he’d come one step too late to prevent Poison lass from having a scare. Now he walked towards Han Yunxi. With each step, the vines surrounding her withered until it shriveled back onto the ground. He stood in front of her and gave her a brilliant smile.
“Poison loss, it’s been ages since we’ve met. Did you miss Qi gege?”
Han Yunxi was so moved that she didn’t know what to say. All she did was stare and stare…
“Is Qi gege that attractive?” Gu Qishao chuckled.
For Han Yunxi, it was the first time she had truly looked at his face, his smile. Although she always knew he was a very pretty many, she never realized he possessed such beauty. Gu Qishao’s devastating looks lasted only but a instance. Before Han Yunxi, he was always just a normal man. He was neither cold and arrogant nor devilishly charming, but simply someone who doted on the person he loved and worried about the most common things like her wellbeing and hunger. Before her, he preferred to fuss over details as simple as rice or oil, salt or vinegar, timber and tea.
Now he quickly took out a canteen from his sleeve and handed it to Han Yunxi. “Drink this. Hurry, it’s neither hot nor warm, but a perfect warm temperature. But don’t drink too much, because I’ve brought you food, too.”
He went to get a three-layer lunchbox from his carriage in the woods. Opening the lid revealed fresh, steaming food. “Poison lass, you’ve traveled so long that you must have missed out on hot meals for days, right? Drink some soup to warm your stomach.”
As soon as he got wind of Han Yunxi’s directions this morning, he’d personally prepared her food and brought it here.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
:3 One down... Now I owe 2 more chapters for this week (besides the normal daily releases) + the 6 bonus chappies!
By the way, I'm currently watching Ju Jingyi and Alan Yu Menglong's The Legend of White Snake, a remake of the old classic, and am really enjoying it so far! The main characters are genuinely good, kindhearted people and that just makes my heart melt. Check out the trailer here--English subs are already available on Viki too! Luck hits us again as Ju Jingyi sings the opening and ending songs with her beautiful voice, just like Legend of Yun Xi.
I'll be doing a first impression post of the drama (a la LOY style) once I hit 8 episodes, so look out for that on Dramapanda! <3