Han Yunxi could hold herself back from goading others, but at this moment she dearly wanted to murder Bai Yanqing. If it wasn’t for him, Gu Beiyue wouldn’t have fallen off a cliff, her identity wouldn’t be exposed, and she’d still be foolishly next to Long Feiye’s side. No matter when he decided to expose her identity or how he wanted to use her, at least she could ask him her question! At least then, she wouldn’t be so tired and acting under compulsion!
She tried her best to think of Cloud Realm Continent’s overall situation in order to keep East and West Qin in balance so she could put off their inevitable clash. She did her best to prepare everything, but even now she didn’t know which side she should stand on or support. As she didn’t know the entire truth, she told herself not to be headstrong or choose carelessly. Although she wasn’t really the West Qin princess, she didn’t want to let down such a loyal family like the Di Clan. Since she was in this role now, she had the right to refuse to revive her country, but not the right to deny her identity, help Long Feiye defeat the Di Clan, or destroy West Qin’s loyal adherents.
As a modern independent woman, she didn’t want to disappoint her own feelings of love.
Long Feiye, if I wasn’t the West Qin princess, I’d like that better! Long Feiye, don’t you know? I’m really not her.
Long Feiye, would you still like me if I wasn’t the West Qin princess?
All of the pain and suffering today was caused by Bai Yanqing! Just this once, Han Yunxi decided to turn willful. Once she killed Bai Yanqing, there’d be no way for the Northern Li emperor to control Jun Yixie. Thus, the man still had to live. However, Han Yunxi could render his hands useless. She raised Gu Qishao’s sword and rested it on Bai Yanqing’s shoulders. Seeing this, both Ning Cheng and Gu Qishao grew on guard and flanked her on both sides in case Bai Yanqing retaliated.
After all, it was possible for Bai Yanqing to pounce on this woman who didn’t know martial arts and take her as a hostage.
“You’re right. I don’t dare to kill you, but I can cripple you!” Han Yunxi’s voice was cold.
Bai Yanqing laughed out loud without fear. He didn’t move against her, but simply guffawed, “Han Yunxi, you can’t do it.”
Seeing Gu Qishao and Ning Cheng guarding her sides, Han Yunxi raised the sword with both hands and hacked at Bai Yanqing’s shoulders. At the same time, Bai Yanqing cried out, “Gu Beiyue’s in my hands. If you cripple me, I promise you won’t see him for the rest of your life!”
Han Yunxi’s sword froze at the same time Gu Qishao lunged to grab the edge of the blade.
Everyone was stunned!
Didn’t Gu Beiyue fall off a cliff? Did Bai Yanqing find him? How could he have?
Han Yunxi didn’t believe it!
When Gu Beiyue had fallen off the cliff, Chu Xifeng had ordered shadow guards to search for him at the base as soon as they ascertained the dark-robed assassin was gone. Bai Yanqing was none other than that assassin, so it’d be impossible for him to find the man so quickly, much less before Chu Xifeng’s team.
“Lies. How are you going to make me believe that?” Han Yunxi demanded angrily.
Bai Yanqing took out a white jade hair clasp from his sleeve that made Han Yunxi’s heart stop. She recognized it! Gu Beiyue rarely wore any accessories--one could say he had none except for a simple white jade hair clasp for his hair. Dressed in robes of white with ebony locks and that white jade clasp, he was an unforgettable sight for a lifetime. Han Yunxi recalled how he’d used the exact same hair clasp every time she’d met him. How could she not recognize this item now!
“Why is Gu Beiyue in your hands? What did you do to him?” Han Yunxi almost lost her self-control, while Ning Cheng had gabbed Bai Yanqing by the collar.
He demanded furiously, “You traitor! You clearly knew he was the descendant of the Shadow Clan, yet you still had the gall to move against him! Bai Yanqing, can you face the imperial clan like this? What about your Wind Clan ancestors?”
Fortunately, Gu Qishao was still around to keep his wits. As soon as he noticed Bai Yanqing withdrew his other hand from behind his back, Gu Qishao snatched his sword from Han Yunxi’s hands and pointed it at the man’s heart. “Stay still for this old man! Otherwise, my sword won’t watch where it’s going!”
Gu Qishao’s words reminded Han Yunxi and Ning Cheng to recover their wits. They regained their senses as the surrounding archers tightened their grip on their bows, forcing Bai Yanqing to lower his arm.
He looked at them doubtfully. “Ning Cheng, why did you say that this old man killed Gu Beiyue? You're slandering me and the loyalties of the Wind and Di Clans. What are your motives?”
Bai Yanqing couldn’t figure out why Han Yunxi would have a falling out with the Wind Clan, but Ning Cheng’s exclamation made him assume that he was the one who misled her. Although he was the dark-robed assassin, how would Ning Cheng know about that? Even Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi were clueless to the truth, so how could Ning Cheng ever guess? He must have hit the nail on the head accidentally!
Han Yunxi only laughed out loud. She took out a portion of poison--the same Blood Upon Dawn she had used on Bai Yanqing’s shoulder that night. It was a brand new toxin she’d cultivated from the poison pond. Seeing this alarmed Bai Yanqing! The night he’d assassinated Gu Beiyue, the poison beast had bitten his shoulder. At first, he was worried that the creature had regained the poison in its teeth, but later realized the poison there was a different type, smeared onto its fangs. He didn’t study it closely, but assumed it was the usual Throat Sealing Upon Dawn and absorbed it into the poison storage space. Afterwards, he stopped thinking about the matter.
After all, Han Yunxi wouldn’t be the only one with access to Throat Sealing Upon Dawn, so he assumed he wouldn’t leave any clues behind by getting rid of it. He never thought he’d been poisoned by one of Han Yunxi’s new poisons. Although similar to Throat Sealing Upon Dawn, this Blood Upon Dawn required a vastly different antidote. He wouldn’t have been able to create one within a couple of days, while the toxin would have killed him overnight if left alone. Thus, he would have no choice but to seek Han Yunxi herself for treatment.
Perturbed and fearful, Bai Yanqing realized that Han Yunxi had thought things thorough even more meticulously than he did. But he didn’t give up. Nor did he understand--now that he was alive and well, why did Han Yunxi still suspect him?
“What do you mean by this?” he asked, feigning ignorance.
“This is called Blood Upon Dawn, a new poison I created. There are only two portions of this poison in the world--one with me, one with you when you absorbed it into your poison storage space that night. If you don’t believe me, you can go look for it yourself,” Han Yunxi smiled coldly.
Bai Yanqing stared gap-faced, unable to say a word.
How does she know I have a poison storage space?
“When Lil Thing bit you that night, your poison state disappeared immediately afterwards. What else could have caused that but the poison storage space?” Han Yunxi asked icily.
“You were also the one who fought against me at the maze pathway! The last poisons I used against you were all brand new creations. You couldn’t dispel them yourself, so you just absorbed them into your poison storage space! You pretended to spend two hours ‘creating’ antidotes to cover things up because you were afraid that I’d guess you used the poison storage space! Unfortunately, I still guessed it in the end.”
“Bai Yanqing, you’re not Jun Yixie’s subordinate, but his master! At the start, you were the one who released the poison mist around Fishery Island! You’re not only the Wind Clan Head, but a descendant of my Poison Sect’s main bloodline! You clearly knew Gu Beiyue was a member of the Shadow Clan, yet you still killed him. You have no loyalty towards West Qin! You already knew I was the Poison Sect heir, yet you never acknowledged me. You have no loyalty towards the Poison Sect, either!” Han Yunxi accused, exposing him step by step.
Bai Yanqing only looked at her, stunned beyond words. Everything he’d so carefully planned had been seen through by this girl! Thus, she and Ning Cheng had allied to trick her into the palace’s trap. Even Ning Cheng’s act against Gu Qishao last night was only an act for his benefit.
Han Yunxi paused before stating, “And also, you used Celestial Mountain swordsmanship to assassinate Gu Beiyue, all to frame Long Feiye on purpose. The goal was to drive a wedge between the two of us and between Gu Beiyue and Long Feiye! If I’m not wrong, then you would have told Ning Cheng about the dark-robed assassin using Celestial Mountain sword skills against Gu Beiyue had I not exposed you first. You want to add oil to the enmity between East and West Qin. If possible, you’d rather Ning Cheng and I lose all reason and bring all our troops south to fight Long Feiye to the death! Meanwhile, you’d wait for Jun Yixie’s battle horses to reap all the rewards in the aftermath!”
Now Ning Cheng was stunned by her words. Only now did he find out about the Celestial Mountain connection. If Han Yunxi had told me this earlier, I wouldn’t be so rational as I am now. I would definitely fall for Bai Yanqing’s schemes instead.
Looking at her angry little face, Ning Cheng felt his heart ache. How carefully must she have thought over all the details to balance everything so well? She knew what to say and what not to say, when to speak and when to stay quiet. Ning Cheng felt a little guilty about his previous suspicions. Meanwhile, Han Yunxi silently exhaled in relief. She had finally revealed the “Celestial Mountain sword skills” factoid in a way so Ning Cheng wouldn’t blame her for hiding it in the first place.
“Bai Yanqing, enmity between enemies can never compare to betrayal by family! West Qin’s greatest enemy is your Wind Clan first and the East Qin second!” Han Yunxi’s next words were meant for Ning Cheng to hear.
Thoroughly convinced by her words, Bai Yanqing only had one question left. “Han Yunxi, how did you know my shoulder poison that night had disappeared?”
Forget about long distance observation, even close distance monitoring didn’t guarantee that she’d know. Time was needed for the poison to react, then disappear.
“So you admit it?” Han Yunxi smiled frostily.
“Tell me why?” Bai Yanqing was getting agitated. He had lost so miserably that he’d never be satisfied without finding out the answer.
“I can tell you, but what’s your connection with my mother?” Han Yunxi demanded.
Bai Yanqing gave a start before he laughed out loud. He avoided the topic entirely and tossed Bai Yuqiao towards Han Yunxi. “Release me immediately, or else I promise Gu Beiyue will be tore to a thousand pieces within three days!”
“Hand over Gu Beiyue right now or I promise I’ll tear you to pieces right now!” Han Yunxi warned.
But Bai Yanqing only remained indifferent. “Go ahead…”
With their chips in the balance, who would be the ultimate winner?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
-Early release today because I'll be busy all day, whew-
You ever realize how Gu Beiyue is legit the damsel in distress of this novel? If he's not getting stabbed with a needle (thanks GQS), then it's a sword (thanks LFY's minions), or arrows (thanks Chu Clan), another sword (thanks dark-robed assassin), and multiple kidnapping attempts. Man if I was the Shadow Clan I'd have settled down with a nice normal girl and gotten married away from this mess by now!
Edit: The heck, now BYQ's trying to kill him too (maybe)!