So that was why Han Yunxi had shoved Long Feiye aside! Under these pressing circumstances, she had no other choice. If she hadn’t pushed him just then, he would have lost his life as soon as he circulated his qi to fly them away.
Long Feiye looked at the woman he doted on like a treasure in the palm of his hands. Now she was physically paralyzed in front of him, but he could do nothing to change it. His dark pupils burned with an undying flame as the sword in his hand began to shudder.
“Long Feiye, I’m begging you! I’m begging!” Han Yunxi was almost ready to cry. She was afraid that he’d lose everything in a moment of impulsiveness.
Baili Yuanlong and Baili Mingxiang were both staring gap-faced. They never thought that things would turn out like this. What reasons did Baili Yuanlong have to suspect Han Yunxi now!
Her legs were crippled! Broken!
But the snake queen pitied no one. Seeing Han Yunxi injured and Long Feiye unmoving, it seemed to understand something in its crafty mind and once again, swung its tail at Han Yunxi. At this moment, Baili Yuanlong flew over, pulled Han Yunxi aside, and headed for Long Feiye. He hollered, “Mingxiang, go up and find reinforcements!”
Baili Mingxiang returned to her senses and flew up immediately, shouting at the top of her lungs. “Xu Donglin! Xu Donglin!”
Yet soon enough, a snake leaped from the walls to pounce onto her body. Frightened, she tumbled back down and realized that the other snakes had already started climbing up. Baili Mingxiang was afraid of snakes--very, very much--but she steeled her will and flew up again. Yet the snake queen was quick to attack again. Baili Yuanlong’s skills were limited, so there was no way he could escape with both Long Feiye and Han Yunxi in tow. After dodging two attacks, he was already at his limit.
“Baili Yuanlong, take us to the right. No matter what, help me buy fifteen minutes’ worth of time! Only then can I treat His Highness’s poison!” Han Yunxi was filled with fury, but he was the only man she could count on now.
“I’ll definitely do it! This soldier vows a military pledge!” Baili Yuanlong replied with determination. He grit his teeth and took Long Feiye and Han Yunxi to avoid the snake queen’s blows before dropping them in the very rightmost corner of the den.
“Baili Yuanlong, don’t stray too far from us. The snake queen won’t dare to use poison again me, just her tail! Just stand behind me and you won’t get poisoned!” Han Yunxi said.
“Alright!” Baili Yuanlong agreed immediately. He used to be just so quick to orders back at the south central regions!
But they couldn’t think of the past now when it’d only lead to tears…
Han Yunxi pushed Baili Yuanlong’s promises to the back of her mind. Right now, her primary objective was to treat Long Feiye’s poison and preserve his life. As long as he was alive, everyone would survive; but if he died, who else could live?
After taking care of things with Baili Yuanlong, she turned to meet his icy eyes. They were filled with rage enough to destroy the entire world! Alarmed, she quickly grasped his hand. “Ye, listen to me, won’t you? Clear your head! I’m fine! Really! It’s only...it’s only a pair of broken legs, they can be treated!” She had no idea whether he’d suddenly rush out in a fit of rage to slaughter everything. If he did and his blood and qi rushed to his head, all of her efforts would be wasted.
As expected, Long Feiye rested his hand on his sword. Han Yunxi panicked and held it in place with her own. “Long Feiye, my life is in your hands! If we don’t treat your poison, we’ll all die! It’s only my legs, how can that be worth both our lives?”
“Long Feiye, I’m begging you!” Han Yunxi was out of time. Or rather, it was Long Feiye who was running out of time.
Han Yunxi tugged on his waist belt and opened up his robes, her other hand still pressed tightly against the fingers wrapped around his sword. She was afraid that he’d try to fight again. Now that his chest was exposed, she’d need both hands to start the acupuncture treatment, but he was still fixated on her kneeling legs, his killing intent growing stronger and stronger. Han Yunxi tugged his hand to rest over her heart.
“Long Feiye, I need you to give me strength!”
Then she dropped his hand and began to search for his acupoints and apply the needles. She told herself to focus. Meanwhile, Long Feiye had one hand on his sword and the other pressed to Han Yunxi’s chest. One was gripping tightly, the other relaxed; one was icy cold, the other gently warm. His self control had always been phenomenal, but he’d never felt so hotheaded as he did now. He’d rather throw away this life and wreck the entire world!
Many times, he wanted to release Han Yunxi, but he couldn’t bear leaving her beating heart. Now he teetered on the edge of self control until an iciness in his stomach made him look down. He saw Han Yunxi crying, the tears falling against his skin. Only then did he struggle to clear his head and realize her face was soaked with crying.
Han Yunxi treated him while battling the pain in her legs, the worry for Long Feiye in her heart, and the fear for Baili Yuanlong and whether he’d be able to beat back the snake queen. It was impossible for her to focus, so what should have taken a moment seemed to take forever.
She was about to fall apart!
Long Feiye finally recovered his senses from his vicious thought cycles. How could he lose control at a time like this? How could he fall apart? Han Yunxi needed him! No matter how powerful he was or how high his status, there was one point where he always surpassed her, and that was the strength of his heart. No matter where and when, his heart had to be stronger than hers. Only then could he qualify enough to protect her!
He finally released his sword and rested his hands on her shoulders with a tender voice. “Yunxi, be good...nothing will happen!”
“Trust me, everything will be fine.”
Han Yunxi had been yearning for his strength. Hearing his gentle tones calmed her heart. As long as he was cool, she could cool down as well. She wiped away her tears and reined in her emotions, then cleanly inserted needle after needle in a beautiful series of moves!
Meanwhile, Baili Yuanlong had been thrown about multiple times by the snake tail already. Although it smashed his chest and back, he used internal energy to preserve his body and keep his bones intact. His sword had already been tossed to one side and his body was riddled with internal injuries, but this was all he had to deal with the massive tail. He called up his strength and summoned the entirety of his internal energy to stand squarely behind Han Yunxi without budging a step! The snake tail would have to hit him first before it touched the pair in the back.
Slam! Once again, the tail struck down, causing him to spit up a fresh mouthful of blood. He swayed, but gritted his teeth and quickly stood still.
Slam! Another hit. Baili Yuanlong’s body shifted and almost fell backwards as he felt the world spin around him. His vision turned black and he felt tempted to shut his eyes and forget everything, including the wounds on his body. Briefly, the image of Han Yunxi taking charge at the commander-in-chief’s estate flashed through his mind. She had fought for him then, back when she had no relations whatsoever with West Qin. Back then, she was simply QinWangfei, a mistress he’d considered extraordinary.
Slam….! Slam! Slam!
The snake queen went wild with frenzy, hitting harder and faster with each strike. Baili Yuanlong’s blood sprayed all over its tail. He had already prepared himself to die here, so this method of death left him quite content. Just how long was fifteen minutes?
Baili Yuanlong didn’t know. He only felt that his internal energy was all but gone now, and his legs were giving out. He toppled backwards involuntarily as he muttered, “Esteemed wangfei, how long has it been?”
Even he wasn’t aware that he’d called her ‘esteemed wangfei’ again.
If His Highness was simply Tianning’s Duke of Qin, and Han Yunxi just their esteemed wangfei, would everything be much simpler? He was a military man, so he spent his life leading troops to battle and charging to kill their enemies. Things like strategy and tactics were left to His Highness or the results of discussions between advisers and counsellors. More than anyone else, he wished everything could be much simpler. All of his daughters had been married off against their wills. The one he doted on most had changed her name to marry incognito into Northern Li. Even now, no one else but himself knew that the Baili estate once had another eldest young Miss. Mingxiang, as his youngest daughter, had stayed by his side the longest, but suffered the most.
All of this was for the sake of avenging their hatred and reviving East Qin!
What was wrong about him suspecting the West Qin princess? He had already silently accepted His Highness’s stubbornness, but was he supposed to throw his guard out the window, too?
And yet, he had no idea whether he was right or wrong anymore.
Just as Baili Yuanlong slowly fell to his knees, Xu Donglin caught him. He faintly heard the man say, “Someone come, take General Baili up first.”
Then he lost consciousness.
Baili Mingxiang had already reached the top, where Xu Donglin brought the twenty poison guards down with him for the rescue mission. They had wanted to descend long ago, but were afraid to disturb His Highness or the princess if they went. All they could do was endure. Baili Mingxiang didn’t even have to reach the top when he heard her cries for help and knew that the situation had soured. He immediately rushed down and saved General Baili in the nick of time.
The princess was still treating His Highness’s poison, so he guarded them with the twenty poison guards taking turns to deal with the snake queen. All this bought the princess more than enough time.
Meanwhile, the other shadow guards were channeling true qi into Baili Yuanlong’s body to treat his wounds. Yet despite their efforts, fresh blood flowed unceasingly from his mouth. All of them grew anxious at the sight. Baili Mingxiang was kneeling on the side, her tears streaming nonstop.
“Father...father, you have to hold on!”
“Father, you said you would personally lead the troops to conquer Tianning and kill your way into Northern Li! You said you were going to see His Highness ascend the throne with your own eyes!”
“Sobsob...father, you promised the clansmen that you’d personally salvage the bones of the mermaid soldiers from Sandy River after His Highness revived East Qin! You vowed to find their families and erect a monument for all of them!”
“Father, you can’t die...you can’t die…”
Some time later, Long Feiye’s poison was successfully treated. The twenty poison guards and Xu Donglin protected Han Yunxi as he took his sword and slayed the queen! Without fear of disturbance, he followed Han Yunxi’s instructions and easily avoided the creature’s poison mist, then hacked the creature into three pieces within three slashes. Then he killed off the snakes on the walls one by one. He stood in front of Han Yunxi afterwards, desperately wishing she could stand up as well and circle her arms around his neck like always. But she only remained paralyzed on the ground. He didn’t dare to inspect her legs, afraid that he wouldn’t be able to accept the aftermath.
Were they really...just broken?
Han Yunxi smiled at him past her ghastly complexion. “It’s fine!”
He didn’t reply beyond sending her a piercing stare for a long time. Faced with each other, just whose heart was stronger than whom’s?Previous Chapter Next Chapter