Han Yunxi’s first reaction was to shake her head. She had decided on this course of action back at Three-Way Black Market and persisted until now. Although it looked like they’d made a mistake, she didn’t regret it, nor did she want to! When she first found out about Long Feiye’s past, she had made her voice. Her only thought was to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him under the light. This man was unsurpassable in both civil skills and military strategy; moreover, his lofty thoughts were without compare. No one could imagine the amount of bitterness he’d suffered on his path to maturity.
She loved him, respected him, and ached for him.
A man like him shouldn’t be bound by the fetters of hatred and live only for East Qin’s sake. He should live for himself. Whether it was a dream or wild scheme, he had the right to walk farther and fly higher. She didn’t want the enmity between East and West Qin to drag him down, much less see him yield again and again for her sake. She wanted to be his strength, not his obstacle.
Under these circumstances, the trap at Hundred Poisons Sect had been their best chance. If they’d missed it, she couldn’t imagine how long he’d have to wait again. Perhaps they would have had to separate once they left Hundred Poisons Sect.
Seeing Han Yunxi shake her head still seeming lacking to Long Feiye, so he looked at her and asked seriously, “Answer me.”
Han Yunxi staked it out and said loudly, “I don’t regret it! There wasn’t any enmity between East and West Qin to begin with. You and I will never be separated by hatred!”
Long Feiye was waiting for those very words. He pulled Han Yunxi close and held her tight before letting go. As long as she didn’t regret it, it was enough. Couldn’t he clean up any mess she left behind? Now that Gu Beiyue was back, even Bai Yanqing wouldn’t be able to affect the continent he’d soon conquer.
Long Feiye said, “We don’t need the truth. We only need an opportunity to work together. The world is full of people with their own version of accounts. Even if Bai Yanqing shows himself and exposes us, what of it? It’s unlikely whether the people would believe him.”
He turned and ordered the shadow guard, “Send orders to spread word that Bai Yanqing didn’t die from a stab to the heart. He faked his death and ran away.”
Gu Beiyue’s taut expression finally relaxed at Long Feiye’s words as he smiled. When it came to trickery and tactics, Long Feiye was the superior foe. By striking first, he gained a preemptive move to catch Bai Yanqing unawares! It was unlikely anyone would believe them if they waited until Bai Yanqing showed himself first. However, if they spread rumors now and said he’d faked his death, then any unmasking by the man would still leave most of the public on their side.
Moreover, Long Feiye had emphasized his stab wound through the heart. Most likely, that would send all of Cloud Realm Continent astir! With Bai Yanqing’s background as a Poison Sect heir, the people of the world would easily think of the legendary Poison Gu humans. The Poison Sect had become the enemy of the world just because of this research, much less a man in Bai Yanqing’s situation. No matter whether he was a Poison Gu human or otherwise, everyone would fear him, hate him, and mistrust him!
Han Yunxi’s heart settled back into her chest as well. It had to be said that Long Feiye’s latest move was absolutely ruthless. She could almost imagine how lively Cloud Realm Continent would become once the news hit.
As the Poison Sect leader, I should “follow along with the crowd,” she mused.
“Send orders to the Poison Sect and have Bai Yanqing stricken from the records of the bloodline’s descendants,” Han Yunxi instructed.
A poison guard hesitated before asking, “Princess, is that it?”
“That’s it. No need to say anymore, leave it for the masses to guess!” Han Yunxi was suddenly feeling a lot cheerier. Like this, she wouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of “patricide” anymore.
Both her and Bai Yanqing were descended from the Poison Sect’s main bloodline, so people would naturally suspect their relations. If she used her status as sect leader to strike him from the records now, it would prevent his bad reputation from affecting the newly restored Poison Sect and give her a reason to interrogate him if he came claiming her as his daughter again. She didn’t mind placing righteousness before family and publicly renouncing relations with Bai Yanqing.
“Your Highness, princess, the most important task now is to stabilize the Di Clan. Next is finding a way to defeat the Poison Gu human! Since a formula for a complete specimen exists, there must be another that counters it!” Gu Beiyue declared.
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi agreed with him. After consideration, they decided that it was more important to find the formula rather than quell the Di Clan first. They hadn’t felt threatened before this revelation, but the truth only left them frightened in hindsight. Truthfully speaking, even the two of them combined were no match for him! Bai Yanqing had been hiding his true strength from the start, most likely because he didn’t want to be targeted by the rest of the world.
How many people in the world wanted to live forever and never die? But if such a person actually existed, wasn’t he terrifying as well? Who wouldn’t want to destroy him in exchange? Even those powerful factions would try hard to destroy him if they couldn’t have him for themselves. A freak like this not only threatened the safety of the common people, but the regimes of the reigning monarchs.
“Have Kangan Private Bank apply pressure on the Di Clan for now to test them out,” Long Feiye added. Although Myriad Merchant Hall had no idea that Long Feiye owned Kangan Private Bank, they all knew of its close relations with Han Yunxi.
As long as Kangan applied pressure, the elders of Myriad Merchant Hall would understand that Han Yunxi was making her move against the moneybags of the Di Clan. They would only have two choices from there: help Han Yunxi win over Cloud Realm Trade Consortium and extricate themselves from the Ning Clan troops or contend against Han Yunxi as her opponent.
There were plenty of disparate factions within the Di Clan itself, so they would need to test its waters first before making a move.
“Alright,” Han Yunxi nodded. She wanted to test how much power the peaceful factions of the Di Clan held in influencing the rest, too. There was still no news from Ning Cheng since his kidnapping by Bai Yuqiao. If he was here, things would be more clearcut. The best way to control the Di Clan was to find Ning Cheng. In fact, she wasn’t keen on controlling them in the first place and would rather Ning Cheng set his persistence aside to work with Long Feiye against the Wind Clan.
It hadn’t been easy for Ning Cheng to enlist in the army at a young age and work his way up as a simple soldier to its general. The Di Clan was a merchant family whose generations specialized in business. For them, a flourishing era with peace was the ideal!
Han Yunxi couldn’t help but wonder if Ning Cheng hadn’t entered the army and the Di Clan hadn’t focused on their military, would Kangan Private Bank be the wealthiest bank today? Long Feiye wouldn’t be able to strangle so much of their trade consortium’s businesses, too. The fatal weak spot of the Ning Clan troops laid in the fact that Ning Cheng had asked for very little pay and provisions from the national treasury. He relied on the trade consortium to feed his troops. As long as something happened to that wealth, the entire Di Clan was in trouble.
Although Long Feiye was wealthy as well, the Baili Army relied on the Tianning court to support itself. The country had kept supporting the army until domestic disputes broke it apart and Emperor Tianhui died. Meanwhile, Long Feiye’s troops in the south were rarely supported by him, but instead had funding from the established families and their financial groups. Long Feiye had the skill to check the powers of such groups, thus managing to gain their monetary support without completely falling under their sway.
Even if the Baili Army disagreed with Long Feiye’s actions, the families and financial groups in the south would still support him. Their only protest against Long Feiye was related to her. However, it wasn’t so bad that they’d fall out with Long Feiye altogether. For example, the last time when the south central regions met with trouble, the families had united against her alone. They didn’t dare to touch Long Feiye. Those families and financial groups wanted to marry their daughters to Long Feiye and achieve affinity through relationships as in-laws. But that was a far-flung reality. Right now, they still relied on Long Feiye and all the advantages he brought them to take on the world, so they didn’t dare to challenge him too much.
Thus, if the Baili Army rebelled, Long Feiye would still have his troops in the south. While the Bai Clan might persist in the enmity between East and West Qin, the southern families and financial groups weren’t interested. They only wanted real and tangible profits.
Between Ning Cheng and Long Feiye, a difference in risks was what made one lose.
The Di Clan relied on wealth to grow, but would fall once wealth was lost. Controlling them didn’t need the efforts of a single soldier, as long as they had Myriad Merchant Hall in thrall! So, while they tested out the Di Clan there, they could look into the Poison Gu case first, but it wasn’t easy to start.
Where in the world were they supposed to find information on such a strange creature?
“How about a trip to the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds?” Gu Beiyue suggested.
Han Yunxi considered it before crying out in alarm, “The altar at Poison Sect with the blank stele!”
In a previous trip, they’d ran into the altar by accident and discovered a mysterious wordless stele. Later on, she’d dreamed about the same place and saw words appear on the stone that recorded cultivation methods for the poison storage space. However, there had been too many words for her to read them all in time. She only knew that there were a total of three levels and how to cultivate. Would it have anything about the Poison Gu humans too? Or perhaps, lead her to other secrets of the Poison Sect?
Or even give them some additional hints and clues?
Han Yunxi refused to believe that Bai Yanqing had invented the Poison Gu formula all by himself. He must have discovered something in the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, such as some sort of teachings. She told her theories to Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue.
Long Feiye decided right away. “We’ll to to the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds immediately!”
Gu Beiyue nodded. It was about time he returned to Medical City as well.
“I’m afraid Lil Thing is still with Bai Yanqing,” Han Yunxi sighed. It would have been better not to bring it up, but now she missed the little fellow terribly. Gu Beiyue’s eyes grew soft. He missed it too.
That very same day, Han Yunxi met with Shi Jiuxia one more time and arranged for a few poison guards and mercenaries to join Hundred Poisons Sect. At the same time, she inquired into news of Bai Yuqiao. Shi Jiuxia had received letters from the girl, but they didn’t expose anything about her whereabouts. Han Yunxi gave Shi Jiuxia a year’s time to change Hundred Poisons Sect for the better and stop its business of selling poisons. She would leave him to think up alternative paths for the sect.
If Hundred Poisons Sect hadn’t changed its tune within a year, she added, then she would dissolve the sect herself. Once that was done, Han Yunxi and company secretly set out towards Medical City. In the carriage, Long Feiye issued three secret orders of his own…Previous Chapter Next Chapter
A lot of analysis in this chapter to wordpad some more (thanks author =.=) but whew...but okay, better than info dumping all at once!
With that, we've reached the end of another story arc! There's one more chapter after this one, so enjoy!