Chapter 117: You didn't disappoint your lordship
Han Yunxi only saw a red-hued shadow but no sign of any person. At the same time, Qingyi started flying towards the northern mountains. Poison mosquitoes covered the entire area, so much that the air was filled with mosquitoes. No matter how brave the mountain search teams were, they'd only be poisoned to death if they went on. The assassins progressed virtually unimpeded, albeit a little slow.
Han Yunxi didn't struggle either, but was entwined in her thoughts. What kind of person is Gu Qishao? Isn't he afraid of being poisoned? Unless he has an antidote?
If that was the case, it meant that he'd guessed there'd be poison mosquitoes here a long time ago? Because it wasn't easy to make their antidote. Thinking up to here, Han Yunxi couldn't resist taking a look around. Unfortunately, their surroundings were filled with clumps of black that made it hard to see the trees, much less a person in hiding.
Was that person following them nearby? He didn't make a move when there was such a good opportunity at the cave. Once the assassins escaped these mountains, it'd be a lot harder to rescue her.
Was Gu Qishao really here to save her?
An uncertain Han Yunxi didn't want to put all her hopes on a stranger. She had to save herself somehow!
"Where exactly are you taking me?" she shouted her question.
Qingyi glanced at her but didn't speak.
"You might as well tell me. Are you taking me to your leader?" Han Yunxi sounded out again.
Unfortunately, this Qingyi was immovable. She had a completely different personality than Heisha, so getting anything out of her would be harder than climbing to Heaven.
Won't speak, will you?
Then I'll make you regret it!
Han Yunxi thought viciously in her heart. Seeing that her surroundings were getting progressively darker, she simply closed her eyes. Not a moment passed before a colorless, odorless powder appeared in her hands. Although both her hands were tied behind her back, her detox system was linked directly to her brain. Her soul, or perhaps more accurately, her consciousness, was completely free to control the system. One thought was enough to open the detoxification system and materialize the object she wanted in her hands.
Of course, it didn't take much mental effort to materialize such a simple item. If she wanted to take out something bigger, or something that the detox system only had in small quantities, then it'd take much more energy than a simple thought.
If Qingyi knew that it was Han Yunxi who helped Long Feiye to kill the mosquito-controlling Sister Snake, perhaps she'd be more on guard. Unfortunately, she didn't know anything. Compared to Heisha, she didn't have a low opinion of Han Yunxi, but she still underestimated her. Han Yunxi had the ability to disperse and kill the poisonous mosquitoes. Naturally, she had the skills to attract them as well. The powder in her hands was called Mosquito Incense. This wasn't like the mosquito repellent incense from modern times, but one used to attract them. As long as she released it, the poison mosquitoes would definitely come their way. She held the powder tight and slowly opened her eyes, the bright pupils developed a crafty glint.
Carefully, she widened the crack between her fingers to allow the powder to drift out in a slow stream. Very quickly, the poisonous mosquitoes surrounded them. Fortunately, Qingyi was fast enough to outrun them, or else Han Yunxi's hand would be riddled with bites! As they flew, Han Yunxi used effort to look back with her eyes, only to see the swarm converging behind her in a horrifying, thick mass. Anyone with enochlophobia would turn crazy immediately at the sight! Han Yunxi quickly returned the powder to the detoxification system just in time. Otherwise, attracting all those mosquitoes would make her crazy too!
Qingyi was currently concentrated on hiding amidst the trees as she traveled through the forest, and didn't notice what was happening behind her. Very quickly, they left the concentrated mass of mosquitos behind. Han Yunxi silently exhaled and quirked her lips into a brilliant smile. A small test had revealed the excellent effects of this powder.
She had to pay attention to the time and method when trying to attract the mosquitoes. Otherwise, not only would she invite disaster to herself, but also stir Qingyi's suspicion. She'd keep waiting until a good opportunity arose.
A group of black-robed assassins were showing the way while Qingyi and Han Yunxi followed from behind. Though they had the antidote, the darkening skies forced them to slow down their speeds in the mosquito swarm. As time trickled by, it soon grew dark.
By now, all of the search parties in the mountains had retreated, leaving all the exits to the mountain open. This seemed to signal that Long Feiye had given up. But he still stood as before on the highest point of the mountains to overlook all the peaks. The only thing he could see from such a height was a faint layer of black fog covering the entire area. As the skies darkened, it grew harder to see clearly.
"Your Highness, the poison mosquitoes have spread across the entire expanse of the mountains, including some of its paths," Guard Shangguan hastened to report. Originally, he wanted to expand the perimeter of his guards to keep a lookout for the assassin, but a blockade was impossible now with the miasma all over the mountains. Long Feiye seemed to have accounted for this, because he didn't make a sound. His deep eyes were like the sea, absorbing the darkness of the mountains. No one could tell what he was thinking about.
Seeing that His Highness Duke of Qin hadn't replied, Guard Shangguan gave Mu Qingwu a significant look. Mu Qingwu knitted his eyebrows and urged, "Your Highness, the poison miasma won't disperse until noon tomorrow. Why don't you go back first?"
He thought that Long Feiye meant he was going to give up when he said 'withdraw,' and wait for the assassin to ask for their ransom instead. But who knew that His Highness meant for the men to simply retreat? Under the current situation, it was clear that His Highness had no plans to give up.
Only, if he wasn't giving up, did he still have a way to find their person?
After all, this perimeter surrounded nothing but barren hills and forest filled with ferocious beasts and poisonous insects. There were marshes and swampland that Emperor Tianhui once wanted to develop into land with his troops for the safety of Tianning Capital's citizens. Unfortunately, every time his troops were forced to retreat in defeat from the difficulties of the land. They could only set up troops to guard the perimeter. Once someone disappeared into these hills, it was as hard as climbing to Heaven to find them.
"All of you can just withdraw," Long Feiye finally spoke, his voice colder than the mountain winds. His arrogant, unapproachable tone made even Mu Qingwu unable to speak. He exchanged a glance with Guard Shangguan before both of them left.
When night fell, things were even more dangerous in the mountains. They couldn't even see anything from here! What was the point of waiting?
"What's wrong with His Highness?" Guard Shangguan didn't understand. Victory and defeat were common things for the soldier. The assassins had only kidnapped someone, but they hadn't publicized their demands yet. It was still unclear who'd win in the contest between their sides. With His Highness Duke of Qin's personality, why would he react this way?
Not to mention, it wasn't as if anyone important had been kidnapped. Wasn't it just Qin Wangfei? This wasn't even a woman that the Duke of Qin had personally received into his gates.
"Possibly...possibly worried over esteemed wangfei?" All right, even Mu Qingwu couldn't believe the words out of his own mouth. Guard Shangguan looked at him with wide eyes and a face full of disbelief. He thought that His Highness Duke of Qin had been enraged over the assassin's daring, not because he was concerned about esteemed wangfei.
"Young General, this..." Guard Shangguan was about to speak when Mu Qingwu waved his hand to dismiss the topic. Actually, he wasn't sure either. Neither of them had dared to sleep that night, waiting for His Highness Duke of Qin to return. But he still hadn't come back when daylight broke.
Huo Yang hadn't been lying; this mass spread of poison mosquitos continued throughout the entire night. It still showed no sign of dispersing by the next day, so it was likely to really stay until noon. The golden rays of the rising sun shone on Long Feiye's glacial expression. He narrowed his eyes slightly, raising an elegant hand to block the sunlight. Less than an hour later, the sun rose completely and spilled its radiance across all the forests below.
The view from the mountaintop today was completely different than the one from yesterday. It was easy to spot where pockets of mosquito swarms were denser than the rest. Long Feiye's cold eyes swept over the vast forests, as if searching for something in particular. Guard Shangguan and Mu Qingwu had long arrived to sit some distance away, afraid to interrupt.
When it was just about noon, the sunlight grew more and more intense, illuminating the dark areas of the forest. Swarm after swarm of mosquitoes began to retreat. Qingyi and her crew had long left these mountains behind during the night, persistently heading north into an even more desolate set of mountains. There were no more mosquitoes around them anymore. Currently, Qingyi had left Han Yunxi in the care of another black robed assassin while she washed her face and drank from a small brook.
Han Yunxi glanced at the skies and curved her lips into a sly smile. She knew that these weather conditions would encourage the mosquito swarms to flock together. Once they did, they'd began to disperse.
The chance had come!
She raised her head to face the wind, judging its direction before releasing the powder in her hands. Immediately, it was silently carried south by the breeze without a trace, colorless and odorless.
After she'd washed up, Qingyi walked over with a lotus leaf full of water to feed Han Yunxi. Han Yunxi welcomed the sight with a word of thanks. Qingyi didn't speak, but waited until she was finished before grabbing her by the waist to leave.
"Won't you let me drink a few more sips?" Han Yunxi asked pathetically.
"We can't stay here for long," Qingyi replied coldly. She had been on high alert the entire trip because her opponent was Tianning's dreaded Duke of Qin. Even master feared that duke, so she definitely wouldn't lower her guard.
"Just one more sip, it won't take too much time. If I die from thirst, then you all..." The helpless Han Yunxi didn't get to finish before Qingyi hauled her roughly away. Han Yunxi's face sank. Won't give me any time? Hmph, then I'll just have to rush things!
Qingyi hauled Han Yunxi with her, occasionally borrowing momentum from the surrounding rocks and trees. She passed through the forest at high speeds while Han Yunxi continuously released powder from her hands that was left in the wake of the wind. Everything happened silently and without a trace.
More and more of the powder was carried further and further away into the forest. The swarms that were ready to scatter smelled the fragrant scent, a few at first, then a group, then a massive swarm. They converged together, struggling to plunder the kernels of powder in the air. It was very attractive to these mosquitoes, enough to make them fight and kill amongst themselves.
Standing high above the peaks, Long Feiye watched the gradually scattering masses clearing from the forests. Not long afterwards, he focused on a new swarm forming in the north! His cold lips curved into a perfect arc, that expressionless face suddenly showing a smile.
Very good, Han Yunxi. You truly haven't disappointed your lordship!
Without another word, Long Feiye folded his hands behind his back and pushed off the ground before diving over the cliff edge, his body nimble and graceful as it headed towards the black swarm in the north.
"Your Highness!" Mu Qingwu cried out in alarm as he rose to his feet.
"The poison miasma hasn't completely dispersed yet!" Guard Shangguan was seized with fear.