Hearing that Baili Mingxiang had arrived on Celestial Mountain, Long Feiye lowered his eyes and slowly cleaned up the chess pieces. “The others should have reached Medical City by now.”
The “others” in this case being Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue’s group.
“The Apricot Woods Conference will begin three days from now. It’ll be a problem if they’re not in Medical City,” the sword sect master grinned.
As expected, a shadow guard soon delivered Gu Beiyue’s letter saying that they had arrived safely.
“Your lordship is looking forward to it,” Long Feiye wore a rare smile after days of long faces. The sword sect master stroked his beard and felt a tremor of excitement in his own heart. The Apricot Woods Conference would be changing Cloud Realm history this time. Once Long Feiye confirmed that Han Yunxi and the others were well, he finally set some of his cares at rest. Next, he should be starting on the last stage of recovering his internal energy. This was the most crucial point of his recovery. Not a single error would permitted, since even the Honored Elders wouldn’t be able to save his life then. Thus, he had discussed it with the old men to finish his treatment not here, but in their cultivation caves.
“Master, will you be going over?” Long Feiye asked.
“What about Baili Mingxiang? Someone should at least pick her up from the bottom, right?” the sword sect master suggested.
“Sending someone to pick her up will do. Have her live in the side rooms for the next few days,” Long Feiye intoned.
“Are you certain?” the sword sect master grew puzzled.
“Is there a problem?” Long Feiye asked.
“Feiye, if you don’t put on an act, how will the fish take the bait?” the sword sect master finally laid it all out.
Baili Mingxiang was precisely Long Feiye’s fish hook. Her purpose was to lure out that old fox. He Yilian knew to use delaying attacks against him, which meant the spies at Nine Xuan Hall and the master behind them both understood his Lustbite Seal very well. It was even impossible they knew he was the East Qin imperial crown prince.
There were three stages to cultivating Lustbite energy. One was accepting its seal and using it to collect power that could be cultivated into Lustbite energy; two was controlling the energy itself until using it was second nature; three was merging Lustbite energy with the body’s own internal energy to reach insurmountable heights of power. By then, even the Honored Elders of Celestial Mountain wouldn’t be his match, to say nothing of the ordinary herd below. As long as Long Feiye cured his internal injuries, he would finish step two and fully control the energy. But to get to the third step and merge two energies into one, he needed the help of a martial arts genius and practice dual cultivation before he could succeed. Even his great talents were no help in completing the third step alone. In other words, if he couldn’t find a martial arts genius, his Lustbite energy might be stuck at the second stage forever.
Baili Mingxiang...was, of course, no martial arts genius. Long Feiye was simply summoning here as a pretense to create a false impression and mislead that old fox. As long as he suspected Baili Mingxiang, he would make a move to strike again.
Long Feiye now knitted his brows at the sword sect master. “What kind of act do you mean?”
“Something to let people see that you treasure that girl,” the sword sect master suddenly thought up a plot and muttered it in Long Feiye’s ear. “Feiye, the Lustbite energy fears feelings the most. Suppose we kill two birds with one stone and have you pretend to conquer Miss Baili. Then it’ll prevent troubles from plaguing Han Yunxi while hoodwinking that old fox!”
Lustbite energy dreaded expressions of feelings. Thus, if Han Yunxi ever learned martial arts one day and decided to turn against Long Feiye, his Lustbite energy would completely dissipate. If he managed to cultivate to the third stage by then and merged the Lustbite energy with his own internal energy, then facing off with Han Yunxi in a hypothetical battle would not only cost him his Lustbite energy, but all of his internal energy as well. The only reason would be because he had her in his heart.
This was his greatest source of weakness and his fatal point. If the old fox understood Lustbite energy, then he would use Han Yunxi against him. Thus, the sword sect master’s suggestion was a good idea. Since Baili Mingxiang was already on Celestial Mountain, she might as well “take” Han Yunxi’s place and shoulder the dangers facing her.
But Long Feiye didn’t react at all to his words.
The sword sect master hastily added, “Feiye, if Miss Baili is both ‘the person you care for’ and someone who can do dual cultivation with you, that old fox will definitely make his move quickly.”
Finally, Long Feiye looked at him and said three words: “No can do!”
“Feiye, your status means that you’ll subjugate the entire world one day. You can’t hide this from that lass Yunxi for the rest of her life. Explain things to her then, she’ll understand,” the sword sect master coaxed.
“No...can...do!” Long Feiye stretched out his words.
The sword sect master still wanted to talk, but Long Feiye coldly cut him off. “Master, have you gone senile?”
“You!” the sword sect master huffed. This brat’s turned ruder than ever.
“Do you think that old fox would believe something so preposterous?” Long Feiye asked icily. “Find someone to bring Baili Mingxiang up. She can just stay here under the excuse of acupuncture treatments. There’s no need to raise a fuss over anything else.” The more pains they took, the more suspicious it’d look. To capture that old fox was a slow process that couldn’t afford brash actions.
The old fox must have been responsible for instigating Carefree City to assassinate Han Yunxi as well. Fortunately, Gu Qishao was there to help out. Now that he was by Han Yunxi’s side, he could insure her safety. He’d rather owe Gu Qishao a favor than force himself to put on such a stupid act. When he imagined how Han Yunxi would misunderstand, a sliver of...fear rose up in his heart!
The sword sect master nodded thoughtfully. “Hehe, Feiye, you’re a wolf hiding a fox’s heart!” He was a martial arts practitioner who had become the sect leader of the sword sect based on his pure power. Although he’d seen his share of the world and had plenty of personal experience, he couldn’t compare to Long Feiye when it came to political schemes and trickery.
The sword sect master immediately sent someone to pick up Baili Mingxiang before master and disciple left the room via a secret passage while chatting.
“Feiye, tell your master the truth. The matter of East Qin...why hide it from that lass Yunxi?” the sword sect master muttered.
Perhaps this was the first time anyone had questioned him so directly. Tang Zijin and Aunt Ru, even Lady Tang and Tang Li, were all curious about the fact. They even suspected that it was because Long Feiye didn’t trust Han Yunxi enough. East Qin’s matters were indeed secret, so there was no need to publicize the news until the best moment. This status was his pride, but also his burden and responsibility. Even if he dreamed of creating a new dynasty and opening a new era on Cloud Realm Continent, he still had to acknowledge his roots and respect East Qin’s history. There were too many hopes resting on his shoulders. He could say he was tired, but never complain that he was wronged, because this was all determined by birth. As East Qin’s imperial crown prince, he had to undertake his duties.
Why not tell Han Yunxi?
Even he didn’t know the reason. If Han Yunxi knew his identity, how would she react? Judging by what he knew of her, she would be pleasantly surprised and happy for him. But if she knew of her own identity, what would happen then? He couldn’t guess. He always had a handle on everything and its conclusion before it began. But something like this went beyond his control. He didn’t know whether he couldn’t control himself, or her.
Seeing Long Feiye turned distracted, the sword sect master nudged him. “What are you thinking about? The way that lass protected you at Abstinence Hall was obvious to anyone who had eyes. What, are you guarding against her as well?”
Long Feiye didn’t want to talk about this topic, so he only went through the motions. “My life is in her hands. Why wouldn’t I be on guard?”
The sword sect master broke into laughter. “If you were really on guard against her, she wouldn’t be capable of hurting you! Haha!”
That was true. If his heart still harbored reservations against her, then it wouldn’t be a true exchange of feelings. If that was the case, how could Han Yunxi ever have the skills to eliminate his Lustbite energy?
“Then isn’t that just perfect?” Long Feiye spoke, though it was against his feelings. He would even hide the origins of Han Yunxi’s identity from the sword sect master. After Mute Granny’s death, he was the only one in the world certain of her status. But recently, he realized that someone else knew, too. Although they were of different paths, he only hoped that person wouldn’t let down his trust in him.
Master and disciple fell into silence until they left the secret passage. After walking through some mountain paths, they reached the Honored Elders’ Profound Ice Cave. Even at the height of summer, frosty air emanated from its depths like the northern winds of the twelfth month, chilling one to the bones.
One of the Honored Elders was already waiting by the entrance. As cultivators dedicated to their craft, they didn’t care about the affairs of the mundane world, much less meddle in them. They were only helping this time because of the Lustbite energy, which had no peer in the martial arts world. No one from the East Qin imperial clan had ever cultivated it successfully. Before the Lustbite energy fell into East Qin’s hands, even fewer members of the martial arts community had mastered it. The Honored Elders hoped that a day would come when Long Feiye witnessed its true power in his body.
The sword sect master sent Long Feiye all the way to the cave entrance, but couldn’t help but ask, “When will you be able to find someone capable of dual cultivation with you?”
The one who could help Long Feiye reach unparalleled heights in his skills via dual cultivation had to be a martial arts genius. Only he or she could bear the dantian of his Lustbite energy. The true reason that the sword sect master doted on Duanmu Yao was because her innate talents were very similar to the late Luo Qingling. But he was thinking for Long Feiye’s sake as well. Although Duanmu Yao hadn’t reached a level where she could bear the burden of the Lustbite energy yet, he always hoped that she could build a solid foundation and dual cultivate with Long Feiye one day. If he could see her settle down and live better than Qingling then, he would be comforted by the sight.
Unfortunately, Man proposes but God disposes. After that night of madness, he had never mentioned Duanmu Yao again. That didn’t mean he had healed from his wounds. His insanity exposed his injuries, laying bare the pain that he had always suffered. If he didn’t go mad, then he would have to hide the suffering and agony within himself!
Was it better to remain sane, or go crazy? Self-awareness came from within; the person who drinks knows best whether the water is hot or cold.
Long Feiye was ready to enter the cave when he suddenly turned around. “Master, I’ve already found that person.”
The sword sect master was shocked. “Who is it?” he blurted out.
Various martial arts experts rose in his head, each possessed of natural gifts and talents. All of them were top tier candidates, but he couldn’t figure it out even after mentally reviewing the list…
Guys guys if PGC was a BL then Long Feiye's match would probably be the rare talent Gu Beiyue and I'm just sitting here laughing at the ridiculous alternate universe possibilities...ignore my silly imagination.
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