Chapter 969: Enough to eat a lifetime

On the way back to Medical City, Han Yunxi preoccupied herself with thoughts of the mysterious plants. She had all sorts of guesses, but they were conjectures at most. It was impossible to infer anything concrete.

Long Feiye and Gu Beiyue weren’t familiar with poison plants, so they were speculating on the mystery man instead. Without a doubt, if that was a member of the Poison Sect, then he must have lived there for a long time. Perhaps he might even know of Bai Yanqing and Lady Tianxin’s past. They didn’t return to their original quarters, but a place in the mountain woods behind Medical City. There, Gu Beiyue had a residence that was located very close to the Poison Sect while remaining hidden and quiet. Han Yunxi and Long Feiye entered the courtyard and discovered it resembled a typical siheyuanThe rooms were spacious and included both a tea hall and a kitchen.

“Looks like we’ll have to live here for awhile. There’s enough space, at any rate,” Han Yunxi observed. It was already dusk, so everyone was a little tired after working all day.

“Let’s all take a break. We can discuss the altar tonight,” Long Feiye was secretly thinking that it was about time for Gu Qishao to arrive. He refused to believe that the man wouldn’t show at all! Gu Qishao would definitely know more about the Poison Sect and Poison Gu humans than the rest of them. With things so uncertain about the altar, it might be better to wait for him before giving it a second go.

Everyone retired to rooms to rest, leaving Baili Mingxiang and Xu Donglin.

“Miss Mingxiang, your rooms are on the west side of the house. Rest early,” Xu Donglin said.

Long Feiye and Han Yunxi resided in the main chambers, while Gu Beiyue had taken rooms on the east. Although the position of the western rooms ranked below that of the eastern roms in a siheyuan, it was still much more respected than Xu Donglin and the guards’ quarters. 

“Guard Xu, we haven’t settled details for dinner yet. How about I write down a few menus and you have your subordinates gather the ingredients? I can cook for our masters tonight?” Baili Mingxiang asked.

Actually, Xu Donglin was only in charge of security, but Her Royal Highness really did need a servant girl by her side. Someone to take care of the daily necessities and details like the careful Baili Mingxiang was a good choice. Unfortunately…

Xu Donglin only sighed internally before he smiled. “It’s a good thing you reminded me, or else I’d have forgotten about it completely!”

Just like that, night fell right after Baili Mingxiang prepared a table full of fragrant food. She not only made enough for her masters, but Xu Donglin and the guards, too. Xu Donglin had his subordinates eat first while he patrolled the surroundings. Baili Mingxiang ate with them at the kitchens. 

Han Yunxi’s group was eating in the courtyard as well. Gu Beiyue had only taken the first bite before he praised, “I never expected Miss Mingxiang to have such skills.”

Han Yunxi was used to the food and loved Baili Mingxiang’s cooking. She grinned and added, “Her skills are superb. Even Zhao mama can’t compare, let alone me.”

“When have you ever cooked?” Long Feiye asked bluntly. Besides the vinegar-laced desserts she’d made for him that one time, this woman had only cooked him a single bowl of soup once, right?

Long Feiye doted extensively on Han Yunxi, but he still had requirements of his own. Gu Beiyue only laughed secretly to himself as he buried his head in his rice bowl. Han Yunxi clearly caught him laughing at her. Feeling awkward, she hung her head and continued to eat as well.

“Cook a few dishes someday so I can try some,” Long Feiye wasn’t asking as a request, but issuing an authoritative order.

“Find. Don’t eat too much then, I’ll make some snacks for you later tonight,” Han Yunxi agreed. She’d like to see whether Long Feiye could stomach them. As they ate, they discussed the Poison Sect’s sacrificial altar and decided to wait a couple more days before acting. A few poison guards were sent to search the surroundings as well. 

“There hasn’t been any news of Bai Yanqing?” Gu Beiyue asked. It had been days since they left Hundred Poisons Sect and exposed the secret of the Poison Gu human across Cloud Realm Continent. But Bai Yanqing himself didn’t react at al?

Where did he go? Did he hide away, or was he scheming something else?

Long Feiye replied, “At the very least, no news from him is good news for us.”

Han Yunxi nodded, agreeing with that point…

Before they began dual cultivation that night, Han Yunxi really did go to the kitchens and cook something up. As the ingredients were limited, she only made a pot of noodles. She let Xu Donglin deliver a bowl to Gu Beiyue, though she didn’t know if he ate it. Still, Long Feiye’s bowl had hardly reached his sight when he ordered Xu Donglin to dump it out.

“Hey! At least taste it first!” Han Yunxi fretted. Wasn’t he supposed to try it, realize it tasted bad, then endured his revulsion to eat it anyways just because she made it for him?

“Have you tasted it?” Long Feiye asked.

“It’s not bad,” Han Yunxi said, but that was before she dumped it in the pot. Originally, the dish was supposed to be a noodle soup, but the clumps of flour swelled up in the pot and all the soup disappeared.

“Then you eat it yourself,” Long Feiye said.

Han Yunxi had no words to retort but only complained, “It’s still my first ever bowl of noodles.”

But Long Feiye only retorted, “There’ll be more chances in the future. Once you cook it well, I’ll have enough to eat for the rest of my life.”

What else could Han Yunxi say? She could only let Xu Donglin send the noodles away. As soon as he left the door, it was to laugh out loud. What a rarity! To see the princess look so utterly hopeless. He was worried that His Highness would turn into a slave for his wife if he doted her any longer.

In the eastern wing of the siheyuan, Gu Beiyue didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the bowl of noodles before him. Still, he silently polished off the entire bowl. It was impossible to tell how he thought of the taste after finishing it up. When a shadow guard came to collect the bowl, he said, “Please tell the princess thank you in my place.”

The shadow guard stared at the spotless bowl, then recalled the noodles that Xu Donglin had dumped out, and couldn’t help but admire Gu Beiyue from his heart. As a subordinate, this man was definitely competent. Of course, the shadow guard had no idea that Gu Beiyue had eaten the bowl clean not because he was obedient, but because he knew it would be very difficult to eat another home-cooked fish from the princess ever again.

By now, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had started their dual cultivation. Everything had gone smoothly last night and Han Yunxi was already familiar with the steps, so she quickly got into business. After they finished, she wasn’t as energetic as before and sprawled lazily on the bed before her eyelids slid shut. When Long Feiye recalled how proactive she’d been last night, he almost suspected that she was only pretending now. But he couldn’t bear to torment her, so he lied down by her side and gently stroked her hair.

“Sleep now.”

Soon enough, Han Yunxi really dozed off. Long Feiye caressed her cheek with a soundless laugh, doting on her lovingly. He gathered her into his arms and covered them with the covers. Perhaps it was habit, but he had started falling asleep only after cradling her in his arms. Soon enough, Long Feiye drifted into slumber. However, he had no idea that Han Yunxi wasn’t really sleeping, but back at the Poison Sect’s sacrificial altar with her soul! 

It was like a dream, yet not a dream!

The sensation was similar to sending her consciousness to the poison storage space, but not quite the same. Still, Han Yunxi couldn’t pinpoint where the difference lay. She knew she was in a dream, but couldn’t wake up. Currently, she was standing outside the ancient looking altar of the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds, staring at the wordless stele from a distance. Last time she’d dream of this place after leaving it behind and even saw words on the stone. Could it be that this time, too…

Han Yunxi was thrilled. She didn’t care whether she was dreaming or soulwalking and immediately ran towards the stele. At close proximity, she could see the wordless stele resembled what they saw that day, with the stone surface broken and the Xuan gold beneath. But there were no words on its surface. Han Yunxi abruptly grew disappointed. But it was then that the wordless stele suddenly glowed with golden light. One by one, words appeared on its surface.

Delighted, Han Yunxi seized the chance to read and saw that they had the same message as before. Just like last time, the words began to appear faster and faster on the surface until they were appearing sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph. Han Yunxi skipped the first part and took in ten sentences at once as she devoured the contents of the bottom half. She was so anxious that she unconsciously held her breath, finally kneeling at the floor of the Xuan gold stele. 

However, unlike last time, the words didn’t disappear after she stopped reading. Han Yunxi was so nervous that her forehead had broken out into sweat, making her seem listless and weak. She stood up and stared at the unmoving text, narrowly resisting the urge to kick the thing. All of the text described the secrets of the poison storage space. A portion of it detailed its cultivation techniques, while the other described its rules. Since the words didn’t disappear, Han Yunxi set the secret of the stele aside and carefully examined the portion about cultivation rules of the poison storage space. Han Yunxi had no way to completely control the space because she didn’t know its rules before. 

Now that she’d read the whole thing, she finally understood. As she guessed, there was a breakthrough required to enter each new level of the poison storage space. The type of breakthrough differed depending on the practitioner. In other words, she needed enough cultivation to break through the second level at a critical juncture. However, if she couldn’t find this breakthrough, then all her efforts would be useless. Past the third level of the poison storage space was the Full Steps. At this level, the practitioner could control the poison storage space’s boundless energy. But the stele didn’t detail what kind of energy that might be.

Han Yunxi was very curious, but it was useless to ponder further. She carefully continued reading because the second half had bought up the poison beast’s cultivation. Once a contract was set, the poison beast would be contracted to her poison storage space as well. Thus, the beast would be able to freely exit and enter her space unless she interfered with force. It could also sense everything happening beyond the space. At level two, the poison beast would be able to understand human speech and its owner’s cultivation would affect it as well. By the end, the poison beast and its owner would affect each other’s cultivation levels and improve together to strengthen the poison storage space. If the poison beast was assisting, it’d be easier to break through the third level. Then it would have the ability to telepathically communicate with its owner at any time, any place.

Han Yunxi had known a bit of this before, but there were other accounts that she was completely clueless about.

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