Faced with Han Yunxi’s uncertainty, Long Feiye offered an answer. “This has to be related to the Qi Sha dagger. Otherwise, there’s no way the bone collector had to find live victims. She could just search amongst the corpses interred at the justice department.”
The Qi Sha dagger was an unlucky thing to begin with, so perhaps it held secrets of its own?
Han Yunxi nodded. Right now, she could only wait for Xu Donglin’s name list before starting the search. Although their clues were limited, it shouldn’t be hard once they set a range of suspects.
Because the detox system had already recorded Cui Yun’s poison, it now held a record of the Qi Sha dagger-type toxin as well. If Han Yunxi ran into it again, the detox system would alert her as long as the poison was nearby. Since the dagger was so important yet small, the murderer would definitely keep it at her side. She did a marvelous job concealing her deeds; if not for the detox system’s sensor abilities, Han Yunxi would never have realized the body was in the lake, thus losing their clue forever. Of course, typically speaking, dead bodies floated in the water, not sank.
Thanks to the whirlpool in the lake, Cui Yun’s corpse had no chance of resurfacing without help. Thus, nobody would have found it before it disappeared. While Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were discussing this problem, the two suddenly stopped and exchanged looks.
“Long Feiye, does that mean the murderer knew about the whirlpool in the lake beforehand?” Han Yunxi asked.
“It has to be. Otherwise, she could have just taken the body away to be destroyed instead of casting it aside in a rush,” Long Feiye replied.
So the culprit knew that the whirlpool in the lake was capable of destroying the evidence for good.
The Yinyang Lake had always been a source of taboo for Qingzhou Water City. Its residents didn’t like to draw too close, much less get into the water. But how did the murderer find out about the whirlpool? And what was the source of the power deep down causing such waves?
“Baili Mingxiang, take a look at the bottom of the lake,” Long Feiye ordered.
“Yes!” Baili Mingxiang still didn’t dare to face Long Feiye face-on. With head bowed, she said, “Your Highness, the lake is extremely deep. With this servant’s skills, it’ll still take two or three days to reach the bottom.”
Long Feiye nodded and send a shadow guard to accompany Baili Mingxiang underwater. “Use caution. If there’s anything amiss, come back and report it immediately.”
Han Yunxi looked towards Baili Mingxiang and added, “Be careful!”
With these words, Baili Mingxiang felt much braver. Like the time inside the wordless stele, she intoned seriously, “Your Highness, princess, don’t worry. This servant definitely won’t let you down!”
Meanwhile, Xu Donglin’s investigations took him an entire night. Neither Long Feiye nor Han Yunxi left the shores of Yinyang Lake. Since they already startled the snake in the grass, they didn’t mind waiting here instead. The case seem to clear up even as more suspicious points arose.
“I don’t know how Gu Qishao’s doing now,” Han Yunxi sighed.
Fortunately, the murderer only wanted women’s bones. Otherwise, she couldn’t begin to imagine Gu Qishao’s fate. The culprit’s martial arts skills had to be superior to the other man’s!
“He’s got a tough life so he won’t die. Don’t worry,” Long Feiye said. Somewhere along the way, he’d stopped reacting with instant aversion whenever Han Yunxi mentioned Gu Qishao. Had his views towards the man changed? Or did he understand Han Yunxi’s thoughts better?
While they waited, time passed quickly. When it was time to dual cultivate, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi got started right away. Of course, the man prudently sent his shadow guards to keep watch first and prevent anyone else from getting close. Dual cultivation concerned their mutual martial arts skills, which was related to their survival. They couldn’t stop for three months or else they risked deviation. Long Feiye’s consequences would be even more severe than Han Yunxi’s.
By the time they finished, it was already late night. Long Feiye sat by the lake while Han Yunxi laid on the grass, her head resting on his legs. Both of them stared at the waters with a rare sense of peace. They had been too busy these days, both in the Baili Army, Three-Way Black Market, Hundred Poisons Sect, and Poison Sect forbidden grounds. Then they’d rushed all the way here to Qingzhou Water City and started bustling right away. They had forgotten what it felt like to simply sit quietly and wait without doing a thing or thinking of anything else besides keeping each other company.
Long Feiye toyed with Han Yunxi’s hair as he asked tenderly, “Are you tired?”
Han Yunxi looked up at the moonlight hitting his face. He seemed especially gentle tonight, like the moon, like the water.
“With you here, I’m not tired,” she replied.
“Are you afraid?” Long Feiye asked next.
“With you here, I’m not afraid,” Han Yunxi smiled.
As long as he was by her side, she wouldn’t be scared or tired no matter what happened. Perhaps this was her sense of security. Long Feiye gently stroked her cheeks before taking her hand in his. Raising it to his lips, he said, “Then be good and sleep. I’ll call you once Xu Donglin returns.”
Han Yunxi didn’t feel sleepy at all, but hearing Long Feiye speak so warmly made her want to sleep. She shuffled against his thighs until she found a comfortable position and curled up next to his body. Even if she wasn’t sleepy, she could calm her heart and grow groggy while enjoying this silent moonlit night.
Perhaps she was too comfortable and safe, but soon enough Han Yunxi was starting to doze off. In the midst of her languid thoughts, she felt as if they’d returned to the little bamboo house back in Jiangnan’s Plum Blossom Sea. There too, he was sitting down while she used his legs as a pillow. Both of them watched the snow fall down until she slept. If they couldn’t go back this year, then she would hold out hopes for next year. They had to return!
Still sleepy, Han Yunxi began to muttered, “Feiye…”
“I’m here,” Long Feiye replied.
“I like you...so much…” Han Yunxi really was raving in her dreams. By now she’d returned to the Plum Blossom Sea, which was why she was declaring her feelings. Long Feiye looked at her dozing face and didn’t reply, but a smile rose to his lips. He discovered that sometimes, just watching her sleep was satisfactory enough.
“I’ve long known that,” he murmured back.
At daybreak, Xu Donglin arrived with a name list of all the corpse and bone collectors, as well as bone-selling shops, in the city. The details were very thorough. A single night wasn’t long, but Xu Donglin had his ways to complete his mission. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be worthy as Long Feiye’s number one guard.
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi cleaned themselves up back at the inn before disguising themselves as a jianghu couple. Long Feiye wore plain black, form-fitting clothes with an informal white brocade robe. In one hand he held a fan, making him look like some noble and refreshing prince. Han Yunxi wore a long pink dress and adorned herself quite prettily. The two of them together resembled a pair of newlyweds. In Xu Donglin’s eyes, they looked about four years younger than their actual age--although they weren’t very old to begin with. It was only because their usual dress was too low-key and sedate that it gave them an air of maturity.
Han Yunxi crossed out all the names of the corpse collectors. They were only listed so she could she the bone collectors they collaborated with. Since Xu Donglin had found that out himself, she didn’t need to repeat the work. It wasn’t easy to meet with corpse collectors, much less talk business with them, so she and Long Feiye began from the bone ornament shops first. After browsing through multiple stores, they found that some owners hid the fact that they used human bones while lying their wares came from animals; others told them outright that most of their wares were cast from humans but reshaped to look like animal bones before they were put on sale. Long Feiye was in charge of picking through the wares and asking for their origins while Han Yunxi simply observed the shopkeepers and their assistants without a word.
They didn’t gain any clues at first, but as it grew darker, they entered a very special shop called True Love. None of the bone ornaments inside the shop were very big, nor were they handicrafts. Instead, the shop sold jewelry, head ornaments, and pendants, all of exquisite make. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi noticed that there was only a single pageboy and a female proprietress on duty. The proprietress was very young and possessed a coldly elegant beauty that was exceptionally enchanting on first sight.
Han Yunxi silently activated her detox system while Long Feiye glanced at the shopowner briefly and muttered, “She’s an experienced fighter, knows martial arts.”
Han Yunxi didn’t detect any traces of poison. “I haven’t found the Qi Sha dagger, so keep looking.”
The proprietress didn’t pay them any attention, but allowed them to browse as they wished. Han Yunxi dragged Long Feiye around the shop before she asked, “Proprietress, are these the only models you have? Is there anything more special? I want to buy something for my husband.”
Today, Han Yunxi had already given Long Feiye countless “gifts,” all of which he threw away as soon as they left the store. He only felt helpless that her first presents to him were under these circumstances.
The proprietress examined Han Yunxi from head to toe before she said coldly, “There is something unique, but you might not dare to gift it.”
“There’s nothing I don’t dare to gift in this world. What is it, just tell me!” Han Yunxi blustered.
The proprietress still didn’t think much of her and said in a languid tone, “It’s the treasure of my store, called Engraving of Heart and Bones.”
Engraving of Heart and Bones? It was also an idiom that meant to “leave an indelible impression,” or “remember with deep and eternal gratitude.”
Instantly, Han Yunxi recalled the “True Love” store sign by the door. “What is it?” she asked curiously. Long Feiye looked over as well as if in interest.
Unexpectedly, the proprietress simply took out a dagger and set it on the counter. Both Han Yunxi and Long Feiye grew guarded, but she quickly determined it wasn’t Qi Sha.
“What do you mean by this?” Han Yunxi asked.
The proprietress lifted a hand and showed them her very special bracelet. It was made of hemp and entwined around a round bead made of bone. There were even words carved into its surface. Caressing the bone bead, she said, “This was gifted to me by my husband on our wedding day. The bead is carved out of a yu bone from his own body.”
Han Yunxi and Long Feiye were surprised, but the proprietress added, “Engraving of Heart and Bones means taking a piece of bone from your body to carve into a piece of jewelry for your loved one. Madam, do you dare to give this gift?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Okay but honestly, if you just married your husband would you really gift him some ornament made of human bones as a gift of love? Bleeeeah, hahaha~ Anyways, one thing that bothers me that there's always a moon out when the author describes nighttime scenes in PGC. In fact, a lot of times the moon is either full or bright enough to light up the dark! What happened to the new moon? Or do we just hit that many coincidental, cloudless, moon-filled days for special effect in this story?
Guys, I think we can confirm Cloud Realm Continent is actually on a different planet. Lol, j/k....