Following behind Xu Donglin was none other than the youngest daughter of the Baili Clan, Baili Qiyu’s little sister Baili Mingxiang! At first, she had been the daughter of a rich and powerful family in the capital city. Countless suitors had graced her doorsteps for a hope to wed her, but she never took a fancy to any of them. Later on, she had willingly entered the Duke of Qin’s estate to wait on Han Yunxi as her servant girl. After than, rumors grew of a love affair between her and Long Feiye in the Baili Army, of which multiple accounts now existed.
Some said that Baili Mingxiang harbored wicked intentions from the start, and had become a servant girl at the Duke of Qin’s estate for the sole purpose of drawing closer to Long Feiye; she later succeeded into a high position after Han Yunxi and Long Feiye had their falling out. Othersclaimed Long Feiye had feelings for Baili Mingxiang to begin with and that he was the one who arranged for her to enter the Duke of Qin’s estate in the first place; Long Feiye had been only using Han Yunxi this entire time. In any case, the rumors were so diverse and confusing that Baili Mingxiang’s name had long grown memorable and well-known across the continent.
While she had been sitting by her brother’s side, it wasn’t strange to see her cheering for Long Feiye’s sake. But now that she had stood out with Xu Donglin to provoke Bai Yanqing, one couldn’t help but wonder. Was she going to get involved in this conflict? On what grounds did she have the right? While everyone was surprised, Bai Yanqing didn’t find it shocking. As soon as he saw Baili Mingxiang, his calm gaze turned into ice.
Naturally, Shi Jiuxia recognized Xu Donglin and Baili Mingxiang as well and curled his lips in contempt. “Hehe, and here I was wondering who you were! So it’s nothing more than Long Feiye’s dogs! Head Commander Xu, tell your master that my old sect leader personally set up this stage to wait for him! Don’t have him hide behind Han Yunxi! What does it count for, cowering behind a woman?”
Before Xu Donglin could retort, Baili Mingxiang beat him to it. She fumed, “Our Highness doesn’t fear Bai Yanqing’s poisons! It’s clearly Bai Yanqing who doesn’t have the guts to go up the mountain! Someone’s already uncovered his lair, but he’s still standing around fooling himself!”
It was rare to get a chance to fight on His Highness’s behalf, so the usually gentle Baili Mingxiang seemed to have transformed into a different person altogether, someone fierce and truculent.
“Hehe, if Long Feiye wasn’t afraid of poisons, why did he team up with Han Yunxi? Does he have any shame to fight two against one?” Shi Jiuxia challenged back.
Baili Mingxiang was stifled. Bai Yanqing couldn’t fight one on one against the princess in poisons or against His Highness in martial arts. There was no way to set an absolutely level playing field in these circumstances. While she struggled to retort, the entire scene grew silent. As things began to grow awkward, she risked it all to shout, “Shi Jiuxia, are you blind? Can’t you tell how many people here are aiming for your Hundred Poisons Sect? Scum of the earth like you lot are getting it easy with a two versus one match!”
Everyone was taken aback. How could such a magnanimous, gentle woman curse someone so thoroughly? Even Xu Donglin had a fright from her words. Baili Mingxiang’s face was completely red as her heart pounded in her chest. She too, had scared herself. But she only clenched her fists and told herself to stay calm. No matter what, she had to defend His Highness and the princess’s honor. No matter what, she couldn’t let them lose face!
If this was before, someone would have stepped out to discredit her by now. But with Long Feiye and Han Yunxi already on the scene, who would dare to stand on Hundred Poisons Sect’s side? They weren’t an orthodox sect; furthermore, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi’s current strength were too much for anyone to challenge.
Shi Jiuxia’s face turned green with fury, but he couldn’t retort either. In a low voice, he muttered, “Old sect head, this subordinate will eliminate these two curs first!”
“Alright,” Bai Yanqing didn’t waste words. His eyes hadn’t shifted an instant from Baili Mingxiang’s form.
Shi Jiuxia immediately threw a poison dart towards Baili Mingxiang. Although none of the disciples had attacked Long Feiye and Han Yunxi on the mountain, that was to lure the couple down. There were no such limitations here. He refused to believe that Han Yunxi and Long Feiye wouldn’t show up after he killed these two!
However, Xu Donglin had kicked the dart aside before it ever touched Baili Mingxiang. As the Hundred Poisons Sect disciples specialized in poisons, not martial arts, they were weak at long-distance poison attacks. They could only use their poisons without reservations in close range. Xu Donglin had long understood this point, or else he wouldn’t bring Baili Mingxiang out here in the first place.
As his poison dart went flying wide, Shi Jiuxia shot out a second. This time, Baili Mingxiang moved even quicker than Xu Donglin by pulling out the flexible sword hidden by her waist and knocking the dart backwards! Although it wasn’t a strong blow, it was enough to send the weapon back onstage!
Everyone was shocked: Baili Mingxiang knew martial arts?!
Only Bai Yanqing remained unruffled. Instead, his considering gaze grew even more thoughtful. There were all sorts of rumors about Baili Mingxiang circulating in the continent, but few knew this woman could use martial arts. Nor did they realize she had been secretly sent up to Celestial Mountain on the pretext of treating Long Feiye’s wounds when she was actually dual cultivating with him! Bai Yanqing had been keeping watch on Baili Mingxiang this whole time. Although he wasn’t privy to all her details, he had a rough idea of her movements. Before, he’d been listening to nothing but reports from his subordinates, but now he’d witnessed her martial arts with his own eyes.
After being rebuffed twice in a row, Shi Jiuxia couldn’t take it anymore. He immediately took to the skies and flew towards Xu Donglin and Baili Mingxiang. At the same time, at least ten more disciples of Hundred Poisons Sect came to surround the pair. A moment ago, he’d been mocking the opposition for fighting two against one, but now he was pitting a majority against a minority. This was simply slapping his own face! Still, for people like him it was better to play even dirties instead of dying from rage!
How did one play dirty? In this case, it was through martial arts!
Xu Donglin immediately grabbed Baili Mingxiang and leaped into the air to avoid being penned in by Shi Jiuxia and his cronies. Everyone thought they’d flee, but they only landed next to the sect gates.
“You’re seeking death!” Shi Jiuxia immediately ordered his men to give chase, but they abruptly stopped after a few steps. Behind Xu Donglin and Baili Mingxiang, rows and rows of walking corpses emerged from the grass, all of them dressed in black robes and sporting ghastly pale faces.
“Poison corpses…” Shi Jiuxia sputtered as Bai Yanqing turned around in shock.
In the space of a few words, a huge legion of Poison corpses had already entered the scene. Very soon, more emerged from the surrounding forests. More and more of them filled the space like an endless flood without end. The audience grew tense while Shi Jiuxia sent Bai Yanqing a pleading look for help. How was he and a few disciples supposed to face off against them all?
Poison corpses were akin to suicide soldiers. They wouldn’t live past a year and were immune to mid-tier poisons--like those that affected the bones and blood. Shi Jiuxia could deal with a handful at most, not an entire battalion that left him in fear! These had been the Poison corpses that Gu Qishao ordered someone to bring over, and their command token rested in Baili Mingxiang’s hands.
“Climb!” Baili Mingxiang ordered with the token held high. Under the protection of the Poison corpses, she and Xu Donglin easily entered through the gates of Hundred Poisons Sect. Behind them, a few Poison corpses shuffled into place, completely blocking them from any poison attacks to their backs.
Bai Yanqing finally lost his cool and suddenly took to the skies to chase after them. Seeing this, Xu Donglin and Baili Mingxiang both rejoiced. He took her with him and started racing up the mountain under the protection of two more Poison corpses. Meanwhile, close to a hundred of the remaining force stayed behind to block the gates, delaying Bai Yanqing for as long as they could. Bai Yanqing landed in front of them while the crowd wondered if he’d keep giving chase.
At this moment, another disciple emerged from a side path and rushed over to report, “Old sect leader, Han Yunxi’s stolen all of the poisons in the poisons storehouse! Long Feiye and her are by the edge of the Poison Corpse Lake. Currently, he’s still trying to break through its entrance!”
Hearing this turned Shi Jiuxai ashen. He forgot all about Baili Mingxiang and Xu Donglin and rushed back up via a smaller path. While the poisons storehouse was the repertory of Hundred Poisons Sect, its Poison Corpse Lake was where the sect nurtured its Poison humans and corpses while conducting research on Poison Gu. Those were forbidden grounds! If that fell into enemy hands, then Hundred Poisons Sect would be ruined!
Unlike Shi Jiuxia’s panic, Bai Yanqing only peered after Baili Mingxiang’s disappearing form with conflicted eyes. Her sword strike just then had used up all her strength, but there was just enough held back for Bai Yanqing to tell that she’d been hiding her abilities. He didn’t care what kind of relationship Long Feiye and Baili Mingxiang had; he just need to ascertain whether the girl was Long Feiye’s dual cultivation partner and a martial arts genius. He was 90 percent sure before, but seeing her use martial arts in person had banished all his doubts.
When cultivating the Lustbite Seal energy, Long Feiye had to break through three barriers. The first was accepting the Lustbite Seal and using it to store energy until he cultivated the Lustbite energy. The second was mastering and controlling the energy as his own to use freely, and the third was melding its energy with his own internal reserves into one body. At this point, he would be unmatched in all the world. Even the strongest members of Celestial Mountain or the undying poison beast would be destroyed before his strength!
Long Feiye had long reached the point where he could use the Lustbite energy at will. Judging by how he’d dealt with the Carefree City father and son a few days ago, Bai Yanqing was certain that Long Feiye had started dual cultivating as well. Furthermore, everything was going smoothly for him.
Once dual cultivation began, Baili Mingxiang would need to be by Long Feiye’s side at all times until the cultivation finished. Then she wouldn’t be of any use to him. However, to get the best results from his dual cultivation, Long Feiye would have to fight together with Baili Mingxiang until their two swords were akin to one.
The more Bai Yanqing pondered, the more he was convinced his guesses were right!
Although Baili Mingxiang appeared to be merely supporting Long Feiye and Han Yunxi by holding Gu Qishao’s command token and leading the Poison corpses, it had to be all an act. Xu Donglin was bringing her up the mountain so that she could combine swords with Long Feiye and help him break through the Xuan stone door in front of Poison Corpse Lake! Baili Mingxiang had been hiding her strength this entire time. Long Feiye had been helping her keep up her act. She had to be his dual cultivation partner!
When was a better time to kill her if not now?
Finally, Bai Yanqing unsheathed his sword and began slaughtering his way through the Poison corpses, intent on giving chase after Baili Mingxiang.
He had no idea that she had been feigning “hiding her strength” with that counter, or that Long Feiye had masterminded this whole play for him below the mountain. Even the Xuan stone door had been left intact by him on purpose to draw out the act.
At last, Bai Yanqing was climbing the mountain…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
So I guess Long Feiye wins, since his plan lured up Bai Yanqing, huh?