Chapter 898: Narrow escape, fortune sure to follow

            Ning Cheng saw Han Yunxi and Long Feiye leave him just like that. His vision was limited with only one eye, so the couple quickly vanished from his sight. Only unbearable agony was left in its wake. The eyes were the weakest point of the human body. Ning Cheng not only felt pain, but a burning sensation as if his pupils had been dipped in hot chili water. He couldn’t take it. Vaguely, he felt a liquid streaming from his right eye, but couldn’t tell whether it was blood or tears. 

Did tears of blood exist?

This needle was poisoned! If Han Yunxi’s needle was an accident, then what did she mean by leaving with Long Feiye just like that? A needle could wreck his eye, but poison could take his life. He’d had his share of her needles before and knew that the ones hidden in her sleeve were covered in hypertoxic poisons.

“Master, your eye…”

“Hurry and find a doctor, quick!”

All of the archers who had rushed to his side grew flustered. They had seen their master severely wounded before, but never like this. 

“Bai Yanqing escaped to the right. Chase him for me!” Ning Cheng ordered coldly as if he hadn’t been injured at all.

“Master…” the archers hesitated until Ning Cheng’s voice turned stern. 

“Those who defy orders will be dealt with according to martial law!” 

Without a choice, the leader of the archers could only leave two guards behind while he gathered the rest of his men to give chase on horseback. Ning Cheng stood there unmoving as he waited. The two guards knew his temper all too well to try and coax him otherwise. In truth, his best choice now was to leave and find a poisons doctor to treat the toxin and try to salvage his eye. But he stubbornly refused to leave. 

If the woman he liked tried to maim or kill him, he could accept it as his own one-sided wishful thinking. He understood the principles of making things hard on himself on purpose.

But if it was the West Qin princess maiming or killing him, he wouldn’t accept it! He wanted a reason he could accept wholeheartedly! He was willing to toss away his life for West Qin, but Han Yunxi didn’t have the right to push him towards a dead end for Long Feiye’s sake. No matter how his eye pained, his heart pained more. No matter how his heart pained, his despair dwarfed all. His heartache came from his lovesickness, while his despair came from the destruction of a lifetime’s worth of faith and convictions.

Ning Cheng stood stubbornly in place, waiting for his answer. He would stay until Han Yunxi came back and things were redeemed--although he couldn’t guess who would be redeemed by the end. But he didn’t last long. Less than fifteen minutes later, the pain forced him to his knees. His bloody red eye seemed to be on fire, a flame that quickly spread to his head. He couldn’t help but clutch his head in agony as he curled up on the ground.

The poison had reacted, and it was extremely potent! 

Both of his guards grew alarmed. They were discussing whether to forcibly take Ning Cheng away when they too, abruptly gave a start and fell to the ground, foaming at their mouths. Without a doubt, they’d been poisoned too.

A small hand covered in scars abruptly reached out from the tall grass and tugged at Ning Cheng’s robes. Once its owner was certain he’d been poisoned, Bai Yuqiao crawled out from her hiding place. She was covered in dirt and injuries and looked like a wreck.

She had a narrow escape! 

After the explosion happened, a huge crossbeam from the roof had collapsed above her head and narrowly crushed her to death. But thanks to that miss, the beam had blocked another one from crushing her entirely. Su Xiaoyu was another lucky survivor. 

The shadow guards that came to her rescue had long been poisoned senseless. As for the other guards, she didn’t care whether they lived or died. She’d long poisoned the dust of the ruins, so those with no experience in poisons would find themselves having a hard time. Her original plan was to take Su Xiaoyu and leave the place as quickly as possible until she entered Northern Li borders, but who knew she’d run into Ning Cheng not long after leaving Blacktower?

This crafty, duplicitous man! He’d actually set off his red coat cannons and cost her bitterly. If she hadn’t been fortunate enough to survive, she would have died none the wiser!

“Ning Clan Head, you’re a merchant. I can forgive you for being crafty, but how could you go back on your words? There’s a heavy price to pay for making a fool out of this girl!” Bai Yuqiao muttered to herself as she flipped Ning Cheng on his back. Immediately, she realized his right eye had been stabbed and was bleeding black blood--poisoned!

“Was it master?” Bai Yuqiao asked doubtfully. She had no idea what had happened here, but after discovering shadow guards in Blacktower, she had suspected that Long Feiye was around, too. She never would have expanded that to include Han Yunxi as well.

Without hesitation, Bai Yuqiao pulled out the needle, causing Ning Cheng so much pain that he gave a violent shudder. He was already hovering on the edge of unconsciousness, but the final burst of pain sent his left eye flying open until he saw Bai Yuqiao.

Scared by the sight, she took out a poison needle of her own and stabbed him in the arm. Before Ning Cheng could figure out what was going on, he blacked out. Bai Yuqiao recalled the fear she’d felt when her life had been hanging by a thread and felt like gnashing her teeth. She’d rather kill Ning Cheng and dismember him right now, but she still hesitated. 

He was a big deal! As the Di Clan Head, he not only controlled Cloud Realm Trade Consortium and Myriad Merchant Hall, but the West Qin army. If she could use poisons to control him and help her senior brother, then that’d be a brilliant scheme. Compared to Su Xiaoyu, Ning Cheng would be an even greater surprise for her senior brother!

Bai Yuqiao decisively took out one of the pills she always kept on hand and fed it to the man. Since he’d been afflicted with a hypertoxic poison, he’d die without the antidote within fifteen minutes. Full treatment would require not just an antidote, but moxibustion to draw out all the toxins. Although she could make an antidote herself, it was impossible to find any ingredients here in the wild. She didn’t have the right kinds in her kit to make up one on the fly. 

She could only feed him a pill to delay the poison’s progression and bring him somewhere safer before finding an antidote. Bai Yuqiao then whistled, summoning a tall man from the thicket who tracked her down by the sound. This was the true guard of Blacktower, Brother Qi. When Ning Cheng had told him to switch out all of the original guards at the location, she’d saved her most loyal retainer.

Back then, she had even smiled at Ning Cheng and reminded him that arrows didn’t have eyes, and to leave her an escape route! Brother Qi was her own escape route she’d left on purpose. Naturally, she needed someone to help her if she was to take Su Xiaoyu as well.

When it came to poison skills, she could trust in Brother Qi’s abilities.

As soon as Brother Qi saw her, it was to exclaim in delight. “Miss Yu’er, I thought you died in Blacktower!”

As he had been hidden in the grass, he’d seen everything that happened between Han Yunxi’s group and Bai Yanqing.

“Hurry and help me take Ning Cheng away. We’ll seek refuge with senior brother together!” Bai Yuqiao said as she turned to drag out Su Xiaoyu, whom she’d hidden in the grass.

“Miss Yu’er, something big’s happened. Something of heavenly proportions!” Brother Qi was still stunned by all he’d witnessed.

“Even heavenly big things can wait until we’ve left. I only have one day’s time to find an antidote! If Ning Cheng dies, I’ll pin the blame on you!” Bai Yuqiao was unhappy.

Brother Qi immediately shut up. Bai Yuqiao lowered her voice and instructed, “Head northeast. Go down the cliff and you’ll find a deep ravine that connects directly to Northern Li without having to go through border checks. I can find ingredients for my antidote there too. Hurry!”

Not daring to delay, Brother Qi quickly pulled Ning Cheng up and left in a rush with Bai Yuqiao.

--

Meanwhile, Han Yunxi had already lost her temper at Long Feiye. She had told him repeatedly that they needed to go back and save Ning Cheng, but he only turned a deaf ear as he chased after Bai Yanqing in furious pursuit.

Han Yunxi gripped his hand and raged, “Long Feiye, that needle was poisoned! Ning Cheng will die!” This was her fifth time repeating herself.

“He was seeking death!” Long Feiye declared as he finally stopped. If the man hadn’t gotten in the way, Bai Yanqing wouldn’t have fled so easily.

“If you want him dead, then kill him yourself!” Han Yunxi said. “No matter what, he can’t die by my hands!” Her needle had been meant for Bai Yanqing, so Ning Cheng’s eye injury was purely an accident! She had always know that the Pear Blossom Rain needles were all used up, but she never through Ning Cheng would pick a fight with Bai Yanqing right there in the open just so he could sneak attack him with the assassination weapon. Whoever captured Bai Yanqing first today would earn the right to deal with him as they saw fit. Long Feiye wanted to interrogate the man, while Ning Cheng wanted to use him to threaten Jun Yixie. Their struggle had reached a point where they didn’t care who lived or died. But regardless of everything, Ning Cheng couldn’t die by the West Qin princess’s hands!

Accidental injuries were unavoidable, but she’d never to able to forgive herself if she just left him to die while knowing full well how to save him. Long Feiye looked at Han Yunxi for a long while in silence. Bai Yanqing was in front of them, while Ning Cheng lay behind. They only had one choice.

Chasing Bai Yanqing and giving Ning Cheng up for dead was his best choice as East Qin crown prince, and what he was duty-bound to choose. But the fact that he’d stopped at all had already made his stance clear.

Regret flashed through his eyes before he intoned, “Let’s go.”

“I’m sorry,” Han Yunxi said in a low voice.

Long Feiye gave a start, then smiled. He wanted to explain himself, but only ended up saying, “No need.” Actually, there was no way he could deal with Bai Yanqing on his own without her help. If Han Yunxi was helping Ning Cheng from her position as a West Qin member, then she was both blameless and right. He should be angry that Bai Yanqing had escaped their extensive planning, but he could still smile. He never thought himself noble or lofty enough to use clean methods against the West Qin faction, but he’d turned that way because of Han Yunxi.

Noble and lofty?

In different places, it meant different things. In this case, he didn’t want Han Yunxi to carry the burden of “West Qin princess” while she was by his side. Nor did he want her days to suffer or people to curse her name. As the man bearing the title of “East Qin crown prince,” he was already aware of the difficulties brewing in his own heart. 

It really was a hard and difficult task.

Han Yunxi’s mood right now must be the same as what he felt when dealing with Baili Yuanlong.

A single ‘I’m sorry,’ and ‘No need’ was enough to replace all explanations. Even if the world didn’t understand them, it was fine as long as they understood each other. Only then could they forge their path forward in the face of all trials and tribulations.

“Let’s hurry!” Han Yunxi didn’t hesitate.

15 minutes was still enough time for her to treat the poison. But by the time they came back, there was no Ning Cheng left, only two poisoned guards lying in the meadows. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi exchanged looks.

What happened?

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Ruyi's Thoughts

So judging from my records...this is #3 of the 12 missed PGC chapters! Hahaha~