Chapter 896: Explosion, the crowd surprised

The huge forest was extremely still as Bai Yanqing’s chilly gaze stopped at Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s hiding spot. For a moment, tension rose in the crowd. Baili Mingxiang, who had opened her eyes, didn’t dare to shut them again. She was afraid that she’d miss her chance if Bai Yanqing suddenly launched a surprise attack. Xu Donglin was on alert as well, ready to fight at any second.

Ning Cheng had no idea that Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were hidden there, and only assumed Bai Yanqing had noticed the archers hidden in ambush. He too, was getting anxious. Bai Yanqing’s gaze rested there for a long time as if he really did sense something. He looked about to walk over, which finally perturbed Han Yunxi as well. She gripped Long Feiye’s hand, silently asking if they should make their move. It’d be too late to attack after Bai Yanqing discovered them, but they still had the element of surprise right now. Yet Long Feiye only took her hand in his to comfort her unease. He allowed Bai Yanqing to stare while remaining as steady as Mt. Tai. 

Time seemed to freeze. But suddenly, a guard rushed out from the building within and declared in a rush, “Master, Su Xiaoyu’s almost dead.”

Bai Yuqiao was still hiding in the secret room. When Ning Cheng’s men saw that the situation was turning grim, they had no choice but to lure Bai Yanqing inside before he discovered the hidden archers. Whether or not the man would notice anything amiss inside was beyond their worries now. It was better to get Bai Yanqing indoors so Ning Cheng could launch his cannons than leave him outdoors. His chances of being exploded to death were much higher then.

Bai Yanqing looked back doubtfully. “Almost dead? What do you mean?”

The guard assumed that Bai Yanqing would go inside directly, so he didn’t expect to be questioned on the details. He hesitated, but that was all Bai Yanqing needed. His eyes turned cold as he suddenly leaped into the air.

He was going to flee!

“He’s discovered them!” Han Yunxi cried in alarm.

“Release the arrows, don’t let him escape!” Ning Cheng said immediately.

Two rings of archers neatly revealed themselves from the surrounding meadows and shot arrows up towards Bai Yanqing. A further ring of archers exposed themselves from the surrounding trees behind Blacktower and shot arrows down at their target. Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were concealed between the rings of archers and watched it all happen. Bai Yanqing was quickly pinned down by the arrows raining down from both ends. Each assault from above was met with one by below, exploiting loopholes in the re-nocking process. They formed a living net that pinned in Bai Yanqing from all directions.

Once again, Bai Yanqing released a wave of sword awn to scatter the incoming arrows, but more flew in to take their places. Han Yunxi quickly discovered that Ning Cheng had at least double the number of archers as last time. It looked like he’d made preparations for awhile. Even a high level expert like Bai Yanqing found himself at odds. But she couldn’t figure out how the man was supposed to deal with Bai Yanqing’s poisons? It was much easier than the palace to use the winds here to spread toxins!

Very soon, Long Feiye carried Han Yunxi up a tree, where they could look down at the battle unfolding at Blacktower. Baili Mingxiang and Xu Donglin were quick to follow them. 

Suddenly, Han Yunxi exclaimed, “It’s no good, Bai Yanqing’s going to use poison.”

Bai Yanqing held his sword in one hand, sweeping the weapon to deflect the arrows coming in from all sides. He soared into the sky, one of multiple airborne bouts, looking both mysterious and dangerous.  Han Yunxi hadn’t sensed any changes in the wind, but the detox system was already reminding her that poison was nearby. Once Bai Yanqing used his toxins, Ning Cheng’s beautiful ambush would be useless no matter how many men he had!

“You want to help him?” Long Feiye asked in a low voice.

Did she?

That was too difficult for Han Yunxi. If she didn’t help, was she supposed to see Ning Cheng’s forces overwhelmed and the man die? She was still the West Qin princess, ah!

No matter what, Ning Cheng was doing all this against Bai Yanqing for the sake of the West Qin Dynasty and Gu Beiyue’s rescue! Otherwise, he didn’t need to make the man his enemy. If he acted like Bai Yanqing to betray the West Qin and collude with Northern Li instead, he would have brought disaster onto the East Qin army.

“We’re all here for the sake of capturing Bai Yanqing,” Han Yunxi smiled faintly. “I don’t need to help him. They can make their move and capture him. After that, the two of you can divide the spoils without me favoring either side.”

Long Feiye arched a brow at her before breaking into a helpless smile. Although he felt regretful, he still admired Han Yunxi’s intellect. 

As expected, the winds begin to change. Han Yunxi could sense the poisons in the air growing stronger and thicker. Although the concentrations were still too low to poison any human, the detox system had already calculated that Ning Cheng’s side only had as much time as it took to brew a cup of tea before they fell victim. 

If his arrows couldn’t kill Bai Yanqing before then, he would lose.

Abruptly, a sharp arrow flew past Bai Yanqing’s waist, almost brushing against his body. Unfortunately, it still missed as Bai Yanqing turned sideways to sweep his sword down. He blocked all of the other arrows aimed at his back and leaned backwards to avoid more projectiles heading his way. Despite a few close calls, the arrows failed to gain the advantage.

Time grew tight before Han Yunxi declared, “Long Feiye, it’s our turn to show up.”

They should have shown themselves long ago to take advantage of the surprise. But right before Long Feiye made his move, they heard a boom!

Han Yunxi’s group was still recovering when Ning Cheng’s cannonball fell below Bai Yanqing and exploded. In a flash, all of Blacktower seemed to bloom with fireworks as smoke filled the air. Trees fell on top of buildings and countless structures fell apart!

Bai Yanqing was soundly blasted aside by the cannon, along with the surrounding archers. Even the ones on the very perimeter were sent backwards by the force. Fortunately, Long Feiye reacted quickly enough to shield Han Yunxi and retreat. Baili Mingxiang and Xu Donglin were tight on their heels and didn’t suffer any major injuries, either. They never thought Ning Cheng would make such a big move! 

So as it turned out...Ning Cheng’s trump card wasn’t his archers, but his red coat cannons! He wasn’t here to capture the man, but kill him! Han Yunxi watched the smoking remains of Blacktower and suddenly realized Ning Cheng wasn’t planning to rescue Gu Beiyue at all. He was going to give up on him! 

How can he do this? What’s his basis for abandoning Gu Beiyue? What’s his reasoning?

For the sake of West Qin?

Gu Beiyue wasn’t a member of his Di Clan, so how could he have the right to choose whether or not to sacrifice the man? Han Yunxi’s eyes flared with rage. She hadn’t ever felt so resentful, even when Ning Cheng had torn her robes.

“Abominable!” she cried.

Xu Donglin and Baili Mingxiang hurried over, the latter looking like a mess. But she ignored all that and sputtered out with eyes full of tears, “Princess....Princess, little Yu’er, she’s, she’s…”

That’s right, little Yu’er!

Han Yunxi looked with alarm at the rubble. Little Yu’er was still trapped inside Blacktower! 

Besides here, there was also Bai Yuqiao and Ning Cheng’s guards, as well as their two concealed shadow guards. With such a sudden explosion, it was debatable whether their own scouts had survived, to say nothing of Su Xiaoyu and her injuries. 

“Xu Donglin, save them! Quick!” Han Yunxi cried. Even if their hopes were slim, they had to try a rescue mission!

Xu Donglin immediately called out a few shadow guards to accompany him. Baili Mingxiang was prepared to follow suit when Han Yunxi called her back. “Baili Mingxiang, did you forget what you came here for?”

Han Yunxi worried about little Yu’er just as much, if not more, than Baili Mingxiang. She doted on the child as well, especially since she was the one to save her in the first place. But despite all her panic, she had to calm down and make a choice. 

Bai Yanqing had just been blasted aside, his status unclear. If he was dead, then everything had come to an end. If he survived and escaped, then they would have failed at the last instant. Baili Mingxiang immediately realize her important task as she quickly backtracked. “Mingxiang was impulsive, thanks to princess for the reminder.”

Han Yunxi’s gaze grew complicated, but she only said, “You don’t want anything to happen to little Yu’er, but I’m sure she thinks the same way of you...take care of yourself and don’t make her sad.”

Long Feiye had no time to stand here and chitchat. He immediately brought Han Yunxi to the place where Bai Yanqing had fallen with Baili Mingxiang following after them. Her heart felt stifled. If little Yu’er was still alive and she was the one who died, would little Yu’er really be sad? Would she cry?

Would the princess...be sad as well?

Before Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had gone far, they saw a team of high level experts move to surround Bai Yanqing. Their shoulders and legs were both injured by the blast, so their sword movements were rougher than before. But they kept falling one after the other listlessly to the ground because of Bai Yanqing’s poisons!

“Shall we go?” Long Feiye asked.

There was no need to confirm with Han Yunxi, because she said, “We have to!”

Long Feiye instantly tightened his grip around Han Yunxi and killed his way towards their target. He was very fast, so Han Yunxi only felt the wind whistle past her ears. For some reason, she felt like they were killing their way across a battlefield. Was this what it felt like to fight side by side? Han Yunxi wished dearly that her legs could heal faster so she could hurry up, learn martial arts, and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Long Feiye. 

Just as Long Feiye broke through to Bai Yanqing, Ning Cheng suddenly appeared from the sidelines and stopped him with an exclamation. “Bai Yanqing’s life is mine! Just who are you supposed to be?”

Currently, Long Feiye was still wearing his silvery-white mask while Han Yunxi was disguised as a man. It was no wonder Ning Cheng couldn’t recognize them. How could he expect that Long Feiye had discovered the trail to Su Xiaoyu months ago, or that he was right here with Han Yunxi now?

Bai Yanqing noticed them as well and said sternly, “Ning Cheng, my good disciple isn’t dead yet, is she?!”

Bai Yanqing suspected that Bai Yuqiao had taken over Blacktower and spread false news of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. He never imagined the masterminds behind the scenes could be Long Feiye and Han Yunxi. 

Here was a huge misunderstanding…

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