Chapter 111: Poison Human, a fierce foe
Han Yunxi was caught tight in the female assassin's clutches. No matter how much she struggled, the assassin didn't stir. These killers had been thoroughly familiar with Mu Qingwu but aimed for her instead. Could they be related to Mu Qingwu's Ten-Thousand Snake Poison? They knew she was investigating its origins, so they kidnapped her?
Besides this reason, Han Yunxi couldn't think of any other purpose. She was a person who cherished her life. The only reason she could calmly think over the problem now was because she was certain the assassin wouldn't kill her. Otherwise, why would she kidnap her? There were plenty of chances to stab her and end her life.
Since it was a kidnapping, there had to be demands involved. For now she was relatively safe. Currently, Han Yunxi's ears were filled with the sound of dootdootdoot from her poison alarm. Not only did this assassin have poison on her sword, but she had plenty of other poisons squirreled away on her person. It looked like she was well-versed in using poisons. Add that to her formidable martial arts skills and Han Yunxi couldn't help but wonder if she was the head of all the Northern Li spies. Thinking up to here, Han Yunxi pretended to struggle again, grabbing the assassin's arm as she used her fingernails to dig into the skin.
But the assassin only lowered her head to sneer at her in disdain. "Han Yunxi, stop playing pretend. That's nothing impressive, hmph!"
She knew that Han Yunxi was trying to poison her, but didn't try to prevent it. Her eyes glanced towards her arm, where the poison hidden in Han Yunxi's nails had already sunk into her skin. But she had no reaction whatsoever.
How could this be?
Han Yunxi wore a face full of surprise. She'd used ant poison, the same toxin that made Han Yuqi suffer so much that he felt like dying. Its victim would first feel extreme pain, then the sensation of hundreds of thousands of ants gnawing into their skin. A person wouldn't be poisoned to death, but they'd scratch themselves until they were less than human and half-dead. But this woman not only felt no pain, but still retained enough arm strength to hold her tight.
After all, you couldn't even extract ancient ant poisons in the past. You would only get poisoned after you were bitten by an ant. The venom she used was something she'd carried along inside the detoxification system, extracted from the body of poisonous ants as a poison. Thus, her any poison differed slightly from that of ant bites and required a different antidote. In other words, Han Yunxi's ant poison only had one antidote: hers. This assassin couldn't have one! Without an antidote, she still showed no reaction?
Han Yunxi didn't believe this. She gritted her teeth and dug in deeper with her nails, allowing the poison to seep in faster. But the female assassin only kept her disdainful smile, ignoring the pain without sparing her another look. She used a tree for ballast and flew off even faster than before.
Han Yunxi thought of something and nearly blurted it out. Fortunately, she kept her mouth shut, but her face paled to the point that it was unsightly.
Judging by the assassin's reaction to the ant poison, it was very likely she had immunity to poisons. There were people who were naturally immune and thus never got poisoned, though they were few and rare in between. Even if they existed, they were only immune to one or two poisons. But people could also be injected with all kinds of antibodies to create various immunities. In this way they could develop immunity to a wide range of poisons within a specific class. Inoculation was a modern-day concept; in ancient days they called it "poison nurturers."
Modern poison antibodies were divided into stage one, two, and three immunity. The higher the stage, the higher the level of immunity, and the more poison the victim could take. Of course, high levels of immunity would adversely affect normal functions of the body, including endangering one's life. Thus, both research and clinical trials on the matter were strictly controlled or even prohibited.
Han Yunxi remembered reading an ancient text of poisons that stated there were differences between poison nurturers divided into Poison Humans, Poison Corpses, and Poison Gu.
Poison Humans had limited lifespans and could live at most 30 years. They had their own sense of independence and personality and weren't much different from regular humans. These people possessed immunity against low level, non-fatal poisons that affected the skin, flesh, and hair.
Poison Corpses were similar to people willing to fight to the death. They had less than a year to live and were immune up to mid-level, fatal poisons that affected the bones and blood.
As for Poison Gu, very few records of their existence had survived in the present day, much less writings on what they were. Han Yunxi didn't understand much either; she only knew that high-level poisons that targeted the internal organs were useless against Poison Gu.
Han Yunxi had always assumed that the past was filled with a plethora of poisons, but that its poison arts couldn't compare to the present day. The ancient poison manuals might have been tentative theories for individual cases, since it seemed unlikely for anyone to meet the conditions and make them happen. But who knew that she'd underestimated poison arts of the past so much!
Today, she personally witnessed one of its records first-hand. Judging by this assassin's situation, she was probably a Poison Human. Discovering the Ten-Thousand Snake Poison and poisonous mosquito swarms had already given Han Yunxi enough dread. Today a Poison Human had appeared. What kind of high-level poisons expert was behind these Northern Li spies?!
Earlier on, she'd wondered if this female assassin was the head of the spies. But now facts proved that she was just a tool at most. There had to be someone else backing her. Han Yunxi had to admit that the mystery and daring of her opponents went beyond her estimations. Of course, she wasn't someone easy to deal with, either. She carried along with her a whole storehouse of poisons, so she had no fears about finding one that worked.
She feigned dejection and made a big show of releasing the assassin's hand, asking coldly, "Just who are you? What are you kidnapping me for?"
The female assassin seemed to feel it was beneath her dignity to reply. She was even a little resentful, and only snorted coldly instead of speaking.
"You dare to kidnap me, His Highness Duke of Qin won't let you guys off!"
Han Yunxi intentionally provoked her on one side while her hand secretly snuck into the medical pouch on the other. Her thoughts concentrated until she materialized a handful of Eroding Bone Essence. Eroding Bone Essence was just as the name implied, a type of poison specially used to corrode away the bones. Once it entered the bloodstream, it'd immediately invade the bone marrow.
"Han Yunxi, you really think you've turned into some phoenix? You're so shameless!" the assassin felt even more disdainful. She landed by the edge of a cliff, holding Han Yunxi tight as if preparing to jump.
"I'm just so-so. You're about the same," Han Yunxi said calmly, her eyes sweeping past the place on the assassin's arm where she'd pierced the skin with her nails.
"You're even verbally abusing me!" the assassin said, enraged. Her cold eyes glared over at the same time her arm shifted towards Han Yunxi.
"So what?" Han Yunxi provoked, before deftly reaching for the assassin's injured arm with her hand full of poison.
Against her expectations, the assassin had been on high alert. She didn't even think before pushing Han Yunxi aside and slicing off an entire layer of skin off her arm! The entire process took less than ten seconds.
How fast! How ruthless!
Han Yunxi stumbled to one side, unable to stop herself before she fell flat on the ground, narrowing tumbling over the cliff itself. As long as she could grab the assassin's wound, she'd definitely be able to set the poison. But she didn't think the woman would cut off her flesh without the slightest hesitation. This reaction was a bit too quick and professional, wasn't it?
Of course, Han Yunxi couldn't bother with so many details while sitting at the edge of the cliff. She was so terrified that her heart was pounding itself to death. She rose to her feet and hastened to escape. But the assassin quickly closed their distance and grabbed her collar with an angry shout.
"You slut, go die!"
Han Yunxi still wanted to use poison. That was her only option left, but the female assassin didn't give her a chance. She dragged her back and flung her over the cliff.
A shrill scream hung in the air before the assassin dove down after her. Very quickly, their two forms disappeared into the abyss...
The loud noise reverberated throughout the entire hall of the general's residence. Long Feiye sat loftily in the host's seat of honor with an icy face, his rage reaching to the Heavens. He resembled a violent blizzard, especially his eyes, which seemed to ooze ice from their depthless gaze.
His anger created an atmosphere of intense pressure, enough to make the great hall feel like it was shrinking in comparison. That gloomy, frosty manner terrorized General Mu and the servants of the Celestial Fragrance Teashop into prostrating themselves on the ground, afraid to lift their heads.
Qin Wangfei's kidnapping was too serious!
Flames of fury danced in the depths of Long Feiye's eyes. He didn't even realize himself how angry he was, to the point where he was unable to collect himself. Han Yunxi's kidnapper knew Mu Qingwu very well, which meant she had to be affiliated with those Northern Li spies. How could Han Yunxi have any good outcomes once she fell into their hands?
General Mu knew that the situation was dire, but he didn't think His Highness Duke of Qin would be so affected. There was no time to admit their guilt or beg for leniency now; it was more important to rescue the victim.
His hands were even shaking slightly as he reported, "Your Highness Duke of Qin, Qingwu's already sent out forces to seal off all entrances and exits to those mountains. The people must still be in the mountain. Since they came to steal her away, esteemed wangfei shouldn't be in mortal danger at the moment."
But Long Feiye only blurted, "Your lordship forbids anyone from touching a hair on her head!"
Of course he knew that the Northern Li spies wouldn't kill Han Yunxi if they went to the effort to kidnap her instead. There must be other demands that they wanted. But wouldn't those women take the chance to torment Han Yunxi?
That cowardly woman, she must be scared to death!
Hearing the Duke of Qin's words, General Mu was even more amazed. He never expected His Highness Duke of Qin to be so protective of Han Yunxi. For a while, he was even afraid to speak. It was his son who'd taken her along. If she wasn't found, or if something happened to her, then judging by His Highness Duke of Qin's current conduct, the general's estate wouldn't escape punishment!
"Your highness, this old official will go into the palace immediately and ask his majesty to transfer some troops," General Mu's face was earnest. To search an entire mountain, manpower was necessary, and using the general's armed troops was the most effective method.
Yet Long Feiye actually refused. "There's no need to alarm others about the situation!"
Whether or not Emperor Tianhui actually agreed to the request, Long Feiye didn't want to publicize this situation. This matter involved the Northern Li spies, while the Han Family was currently under suspicion. Once the news spread, it wouldn't only affect his investigation efforts, but have negative consequences for Han Yunxi.
Long Feiye's gaze turned complicated as he spoke. "Chu Xifeng, send out all the men in the dungeons to secretly search the mountains. And also, take those two prisoners in the dungeons to the Celestial Fragrance Teashop!"
Was His Highness Duke of Qin planning to exchange hostages?
Now General Mu was in even more disbelief. The Duke of Qin never released his prisoners, but he'd actually broken his habit for the sake of a single woman! Actually, Han Yunxi's kidnapping was the perfect chance for the Duke of Qin to get rid of his Qin Wangfei. Since the matter was related to the Northern Li spies, even Emperor Tianhui and the empress dowager wouldn't dare create more difficulties if he did.
Not only General Mu, but Chu Xifeng as well, didn't understand. But faced with an angry master, he wouldn't dare to speak even half a sentence. Immediately, he obeyed his orders and left. Long Feiye's icy gaze rested on the Celestial Fragrance Teashop servants and said, "Tell your owner that your lordship wants to see him!"
 Gu () - name for a legendary venomous insect, which you can read about