Even if Baili Yuanlong had to throw his old life all into it, he couldn’t black out at a time like this!
“Deputy General Zhao, quickly! Divide up these two vats of water and have everyone take a sip! It can defend against the snake poison! All units stand guard and prepare to hunt them down!” After issuing orders, Baili Yuanlong immediately rushed to the west camp. By the time he arrived, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were already there.
He saw the ground covered in bodies--at least 200 people dead, and hundreds more injured by bites who had taken the antidote just in time. Fortunately, Han Yunxi’s detox system was capable of producing a pile of antidotes by itself, or else nobody would be alive by the time she gathered all of the necessary ingredients.
Han Yunxi was still dressed in her soldier’s garb. Currently, she was kneeling next to a few high-level military officials and expelling their poison with needles. Xu Donglin and a few shadow guards stood nearby, preventing anyone from drawing close or distracting her. Baili Yuanlong didn’t see His Highness, but agitatedly rushed towards Han Yunxi as soon as he spotted her.
“Han--” Mid-word, he quickly corrected his speech. “Feiyun, the situation…”
Xu Donglin cut him off harshly. “His Highness has orders, anyone who disturbs Feiyun’s treatment will be killed without mercy!”
“This general only wants to ask about--”
“General Baili, Feiyun is trying to save those soldiers’ lives. Every single second is precious. Speaking a sentence with you is yet another life lost. Can you afford to shoulder that burden?” Xu Donglin asked, before reminding him helpfully, “General Baili, you have to shoulder the lives of all those lost on the ground here! You might as well save your efforts!”
Baili Yuanlong’s heart gave a lurch as he fell silent. He looked at Han Yunxi, who wore an imposing, serious expression as she moved quickly to administer treatment. The current circumstances didn’t appear to faze her, nor did she skip any steps in her cure despite knowing that many human lives were at stake. Her steadiness, rationality, and decisive actions didn’t waste a bit of time. Even as her hair fell into her face, she ignored it to continue treatment while Zhao mama tucked the strands back.
Baili Yuanlong had been prepared to put down all his doubts and sincerely beg Han Yunxi for directions and help to seek out the snakes, but Xu Donglin’s words and actions had left him displeased. Yet after witnessing the woman in action and the faces of his soldiers slowly regaining color again, he was thoroughly convinced. Of course, he didn’t stand around for long, but ask the man next to him, “Where’s His Highness?”
“His Highness took men to hunt down the snakes. The princess gave His Highness a medicine designed to lure them out,” Xu Donglin replied.
Baili Yuanlong prepared to leave, but tossed back, “Guard them well. Don’t allow any distractions from anyone!”
Xu Donglin was torn between fuming and laughing as he ignored him.
Just like that, Long Feiye headed the operation to ferret out the hiding snakes while Han Yunxi fought against time to save lives. Baili Yuanlong and a few of his deputy generals distributed the antidote to all the soldiers in the barracks. Soon enough, the chaos in the army began to stabilize.
The White-Lipped Krait poison reacted too quickly. No matter how fast Han Yunxi moved, she could only save so many people. Fortunately, they had discovered the poisoning at the west camp soon enough to send antidotes to some of the soldiers, who survived even without Han Yunxi’s additional treatment.
After finishing her lifesaving work, Han Yunxi didn’t even have time to spare for water before hunting down Long Feiye. She got the geist of the situation from him and divided up tasks between them. It was much easier for Han Yunxi to track down the poison snakes. She didn’t need special medicine to lure them out, but only need to activate the detox system to locate them. It wasn’t until afternoon of the next day that they finished their work.
“Your Highness, we have 375 dead, 130 injured, and 101 still recovering after taking the antidote. Feiyun rescued 29 more. We’ve already informed the families of the deceased and made arrangements for their bodies, while the injured are all being kept in the east camp. All soldiers in the camp have taken the antidote and raised their guard.” As Baili Yuanlong finished, he fell to his knees. “This general went against military orders and created a disaster. May Your Highness mete punishment!”
Long Feiye sat on his tiger skin seat, body leaning forward as he supported his head on crossed hands. His icy eyes stared straight at Baili Yuanlong. For a while, he didn’t speak. Han Yunxi was sitting on one side, holding a dead White-Lipped Krait in her hands. It wasn’t clear what she was studying, but she paid no attention to Baili Yuanlong.
Seeing His Highness mute, Baili Yuanlong glanced at Han Yunxi with a gloomy look.
“Do you regret it?” Long Feiye suddenly asked.
Baili Yuanlong felt startled. He felt as if His Highness’s eyes could see right through him. After hesitating for a long while, he didn’t answer. The three of them were the only people in this wide and expansive tent, which was so quiet that they could hear a pin drop. The quieter things grew, the more upset Baili Yuanlong felt. He wished His Highness could slap him soundly a few times or kick him rather than continue this prolonged silence and staring.
Long Feiye only asked him once. Since Baili Yuanlong didn’t answer, he didn’t ask again, but simply waved a hand to dismiss him.
“Your Highness…” Baili Yuanlong’s heart was filled with words, but he didn’t know how to express himself. In the end, he remained silent. Instead of leaving, however, he remained kneeling and waiting. Long Feiye slowly narrowed his eyes as his hands formed into fists. Baili Yuanlong could sense his rage, but simply lowered his head to wait for the storm. As if sensing something, Han Yunxi looked up. Simultaneously, Xu Donglin rushed into the tent.
“Your Highness, princess, those snakes...those snakes have gone crazy! You should hurry and take a look.”
Besides the 600 or so serpents they’d killed last night, there were 300 more in captivity. They weren’t dead because Han Yunxi was using them as bait to track down the snake den. The White-Lipped Kraits behaved similarly to ant swarms. They not only lived in groups, but had a queen that was responsible for reproduction. Yet unlike an ant queen, the snake queen was not only dangerously toxic, but also a formidable attacker. The army camp had stayed here for ages without being targeted, yet something must have set the snakes off last night. Either foul play was at work, or a snake den closeby must have been provoked from the outside.
No matter the case, they had to find the den fast and track down its queen. Otherwise, there would be nobody left to deal with the snake queen’s poison once she and Long Feiye left the camp.
“It must be the snake queen summoning them! Let’s go see!” Han Yunxi said seriously.
Long Feiye ignored Baili Yuanlonh and strode out with Han Yunxi towards the west camp. Baili Yuanlong hesitated briefly before chasing after them. Besides the stored corpses, all of the west camp was empty and deserted. The dead snakes were all piled up in a corner, while the live ones were trapped in a metal cage. Like creatures possessed, they climbed up its sides and bit at the bars, occasionally emitting poisonous gases into the air.
Han Yunxi had hardly drawn close when she sensed something off. She held back Long Feiye and the rest to exclaim, “Don’t get too close, it’s poisonous!”
Long Feiye was quite displeased. In front of Baili Yuanlong and multiple shadow guards, he tugged at Han Yunxi’s clothes. Although he hadn’t said a thing, everyone knew he didn’t want Han Yunxi to advance, either.
Han Yunxi turned to him with a grin and murmured, “No problem. Any poisons attacking me will end up being mine by the end.” After cultivating to the second level of the poison storage space, she wasn’t afraid of any poisons! Han Yunxi approached the cage with her eyes closed as if sniffing the air for toxins. Long Feiye and the rest watched from behind her. He didn’t dare to disturb her, much less anyone else.
After a long time had passed, Han Yunxi finally opened her eyes. But she suddenly drew closer to the cage just as a White-Lipped Krait rushed open with its mouth open.
“Be careful!” Long Feiye dragged Han Yunxi back and scolded her. “You’ve gone mad!”
“I’m fine! Really! The cage’s blocking them from biting me,” Han Yunxi said helplessly. She didn’t like people interrupting her work, but since this was Long Feiye, she had no choice but to suppress her temper.
“What are you doing?” Long Feiye asked.
“There are two types of poison in the air. One is from the snake queen, while the others are from these kraits. They have different properties, but they’re seeking each other out in the air. When combined, they can create a new toxin that can spread for 100 li.” As Han Yunxi spoke, she gently pushed aside Long Feiye’s hand and drew closer to the cage again. “The snake queen’s poison is too powerful, so it’s already found the kraits’ poison gas before it even left the cage. There’s already a new poison in there, and it’s starting to spread…”
“Then doesn’t that mean everyone will get poisoned?” Baili Yuanlong asked urgently. The East Qin troops weren’t only stationed here, but in various other camps within 100 li. Moreover, many civilians had returned to their homes once the ceasefire began. If the poison spread, the consequences would be unthinkable.
Baili Yuanlong regretted his words as soon as he spoke. It’d be strange if Han Yunxi didn’t seize upon them for a chance at ridicule!
And yet, Han Yunxi didn’t waste any words on mocking him. “They won’t,” she said coldly, “Because this poison is used as a form of communication. It’s akin to human speech, so it won’t hurt humans. General Baili can stop worrying.”
Even Baili Yuanlong felt awkward after this, so he simply nodded wordlessly.
“Judging from the poison gas, this snake queen has to be over hundreds of years old. It’ll be hard to deal with her,” Han Yunxi said seriously.
“Princess, you and His Highness once killed a poison python that was thousands of years old. How could a centuries old snake queen be harder to deal with?” Baili Mingxiang couldn’t help asking.
“Dealing with her is simple. The problem is the snake swarm guarding her lair,” Han Yunxi sighed softly.
“You mean to say...there are still poisonous snakes in her den?” Long Feiye grew alarmed.
“Yes!” Han Yunxi nodded. “A den with a centuries old snake queen wouldn’t just have a thousand offspring. I’m afraid this is a rarity of rarities. Once the poison gas spreads and alerts the snake den’s snakes, the whole nest will come out in full strength. This is how the White-Lipped Kraits respond to danger!”
Now everyone understood what was going on.
“Princess, then can we control the poison gas so it doesn’t spread?” Xu Donglin asked anxiously.
“Just kill off all these snakes! But we won’t be able to find the snake den then, much less what set off those snakes. That would leave us no end of trouble in the future!” Han Yunxi declared.
“Baili Yuanlong, arrange for men to standby and help at any time,” Long Feiye ordered immediately. But Han Yunxi stopped him.
“No need, I can go by myself.” As she spoke turned her face to look at him. “You don’t have to go either.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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