Chapter 191: Poisoning, he's a bit impatient
Long Feiye's words left the three women stupefied. Murong Wanru couldn't believe her own ears. The Duke of Qin, he...he came back, not to attend her wedding, but to take Han Yunxi and leave?
She couldn't accept it. How could the Duke of Qin be like this!?
Han Yunxi didn't expect this either and narrowly avoided laughing out loud. This guy was simply back to cause trouble. See how Murong Wanru had flaunted just then! Fine, she could admit the troubles were dispelled from her mind. Right now, she was very willing to forgive him for being absent last time. Han Yunxi glanced at Murong Wanru the same time she glanced at her, and couldn't help but quickly muffle her lips. Still, anyone could tell she was secretly laughing!
Murong Wanru was utterly discomfited. Shamed into anger, she finally fell apart as her eyes turned red. She looked at Grand Concubine Yi and burst out in a fit of temper, "Mufei, just look! The Duke of Qin's being a bully!"
After all, Murong Wanru was a white lotus. In front of the Duke of Qin, she'd alway acted like a spoiled and pitiful young Miss. This time she must have been truly hurt since she couldn't hold back. Long Feiye particularly detested these types of women that went around complaining and acting like a brat. Even if he did bully women, it wasn't something he did on purpose as he pleased. Impatience flitted past his eyes; he didn't want to spare Murong Wanru another glance.
"Feiye, you're too much! Tomorrow, Wanru's getting married, it's a major event. As an older brother, how could you not show up? No matter how important it is, it can't be any more important than tomorrow! No one's going anywhere tonight!" Grand Concubine Yi set down an order.
"Erchen's matters are very urgent, may mufei forgive me." Long Feiye's patience was limited, so he glanced at Han Yunxi as soon as he finished before turning to leave.
"You stop right there!" Grand Concubine Yi was finally angry. She took a big stride forward and blocked him from the front, asking in a huff, "Feiye, you won't even listen to mufei's words? What's so much more important that Wanru's wedding? Why don't you say it for us to hear?!"
"Private matters, very urgent, leaving is mandatory," Long Feiye said succinctly, his tone even more forceful than Grand Concubine Yi.
"And if mufei insists that you stay?" Grand Concubine Yi didn't budge.
"May mufei forgive me," Long Feiye replied, determined to depart.
Mother and son had gotten into a conflict. It wasn't known whether it was the first time, but this was usually when the white lotus would step up as the peacemaker. But Murong Wanru only stood in place, looking bitterly at the Duke of Qin. She felt extremely aggrieved. Already, she was being forced to marry against her will, so couldn't the Duke of Qin treat her a little better?
She just wouldn't speak, waiting to see whether Grand Concubine Yi would comfort her.
Han Yunxi's eyes turned crafty as she stood up, taking Grand Concubine Yi's hand as she coaxed, "Mufei, His Highness must have some secret orders to complete. He probably can't go against them or divulge any details. It was urgent enough for His Highness to come back at this time; otherwise, he might have returned sooner." Han Yunxi paused. Seeing that Grand Concubine Yi didn't immediately refute her, she knew that things looked hopeful.
Grand Concubine Yi was known amongst the imperial family for doting on her son. She also depended on him for her status, and it was only through this son that she had her position today. Could she really make things difficult for him just for the sake of a foster daughter?
"Mufei, didn't little sister Wanru just say that her best present is His Highness managing to hurry back? She's already very happy, so I think she'll make allowances for the Duke of Qin, too," Han Yunxi coaxed again.
Of course Grand Concubine Yi knew and understood this all, but this time she didn't want to compromise. Wanru really had been wronged for this marriage, so the Duke of Qin couldn't keep disregarding her. If he showed up at the wedding, it could at least send a message that Wanru was heavily valued despite being only an adopted daughter. She had something to lean on and wasn't someone easily bullied.
Han Yunxi was surprised to see Grand Concubine Yi refusing to yield. She thought Grand Concubine Yi was just momentarily impulsive and needed a platform to get off her high perch, but never thought she really would match strength with her own son for her foster daughter. Han Yunxi didn't have time to consider the oddity as she squeezed Grand Concubine Yi's hand and spoke in a low voice.
"Mufei, don't forget that Zhangsun Che's matter relies on the Duke of Qin. That's the most important thing!"
This reminder finally calmed down Grand Concubine Yi. A complicated look flitted past her eyes. She knew the Duke of Qin's temper best. If he was impatient, not only would he refuse to stay, he wouldn't bother with Zhangsun Che's matters, either. A wedding was but a moment, but Zhangsun Che's future prospects would affect Wanru's entire life!
"Mufei, the Duke of Qin and I will leave and return quickly. Just let us go," Han Yunxi continued to prepare a platform.
Though Grand Concubine Yi found herself in a difficult position, she had no choice but to get out of the way with a mild tone. "Make haste, try to come back before the bride visits with her husband here three days later."
"Many thanks to mufei!" Han Yunxi rejoiced as she winked and grinned at Long Feiye. He didn't say much, but simply turned to leave. Han Yunxi hastened to chase after him, while Grand Concubine Yi heaved a sigh. When she turned around, she saw that Murong Wanru had long shed silent tears until she was a crying mess.
"Wanru..." Grand Concubine Yi's heart seized up. She was about to explain when Murong Wanru viciously stamped her feet and ran away.
A foster daughter was just a foster daughter. Today she'd finally saw things for what they were. No matter how well Grand Concubine Yi treated her, no matter how much she took her to be her real daughter, in the end she was still adopted. Han Yunxi was married into the family, while she was to be married out. In the end, she'd still be the outsider!
Grand Concubine Yi, you won't even satisfy a tiny bit of my hopes. On what basis do you tell me everyday that I'm one of your own? You treated me heartlessly, so don't blame me if I do the same!
Han Yunxi had already followed Long Feiye out the gates of the Duke of Qin's estate, but she was still smiling. Even now, she found it a bit unbelievable that Long Feiye would come and take her away at this critical juncture. Murong Wanru really was suffering from her own actions. If she'd stuck to her boundaries from the start, she wouldn't have fallen to this extent today.
Instead of blaming gods or men, she should do some self-introspection instead.
Long Feiye suddenly stopped walking. "What are you smiling about?"
Han Yunxi recovered enough to give a light cough. "N...nothing."
"Do you know what your lordship wants to bring you to do?" Long Feiye asked again.
Eh...fine, she was all about leaving that she got overexcited without considering the question.
Where were they going? What were they doing?
Still, she didn't need to think much. This fellow never came calling unless he had a reason. Why else would he find her?
"Detoxifying poisons, probably..." Han Yunxi said mildly.
But Long Feiye actually said, "To use poison!"
"You want to hurt someone?" Han Yunxi asked in surprise.
"Kill." Long Feiye's face was expressionless as he mounted his horse before extending a palm to Han Yunxi.
"What's going on?" Han Yunxi asked him doubtfully, not moving a bit.
"You owe me a favor. Do this and we'll be even," Long Feiye said coldly.
By now, Han Yunxi finally realized that something was off about this fellow. His consistent calm seemed to be peppered with irritable impatience today. Last time she'd asked him to take her to Medicine City, so she really did owe him a favor. But last time he'd said he didn't want to settle debts with her, while this time he did. Han Yunxi curled her lips in disbelief before taking his hand. If he wasn't going to explain, she was too lazy to ask herself.
As soon as she got on the horse, he wrapped a hand around her waist automatically. She didn't pay it much mind, having gotten used to it.
Actually, doing that was just as simple as treating poisons, but reality proved that this was just Han Yunxi's wishful thinking. They sped along all night until Long Feiye arrived with Han Yunxi at a wild, untended courtyard in the open country. If it was anyone else taking her here, Han Yunxi might suspect she was being kidnapped and sold into slavery. But since it was Long Feiye, well, that really was her overthinking things.
Once they stepped inside, they met an exceedingly good looking man. Han Yunxi never thought that a man's profile could look so fine from the back. It seemed that the idiom "killer looks from behind" was especially made for this person. His figure was lean and tall, handsomely dressed in robes as white as snow. A white jade hairpin was stuck casually in his black hair, making him seem like some sort of ink wash painting in the middle of the desolate courtyard. Black and white together created their own world.
"Tang Li1, have you brought everything?" Long Feiye's icy voice shattered the tranquility of the living ink painting.
The man called Tang Li finally turned around to survey Han Yunxi. Again, she was stunned. There was a face that possessed an otherworldly aura; though it lacked Long Feiye's beauty, it carried the same sort of frigidity. But while Long Feiye's coldness stemmed from a frosty manner and brutal cruelty, this man looked as pure as jade and chaste as ice. It was a face that people only dared to admire from a distance without trying to get close.
Tang Li lightly flicked his sleeves against a stone table, revealing row after row of acupuncture needles on its surface. Han Yunxi frowned as she looked over, only to see that these needles came in all sorts of sizes, thickness, and forms. These weren't medical needles, much less embroidery ones. Without a doubt, they were all assassination tools!
Since this guy was surnamed Tang, was he from the Tang Clan2? So these assassination tools were the legendary Tang Clan's hidden weapons?
The Tang Clan was neither righteous nor evil. They didn't have dealings with heroic factions or alliances with villainous sects, but were envied by others simply for their formidable assassination weapons. Han Yunxi was amazed, but Long Feiye picked up a few needles and threw them aside after a glance. His tone was displeased as he spoke. "These take a long time to master. Is there something that can be used right away?"
"Nothing," Tang Li said simply.
"What about the Pear Blossom Rain Needles3?" Long Feiye asked coldly.
At his words, Han Yunxi immediately sucked in a cold breath. Even if she didn't know anything, she knew what the Pear Blossom Rain Needles were. This was the second-ranked assassination weapon in the Tang Clan. Legend had it that there were only two in existence.
For real...what was Long Feiye planning to do?
Tang Li knitted his eyebrows, completely distorting the celestial-like coldness of his face. "Impossible!"
Long Feiye rudely extended his hand. "It's just to borrow for a while, give it."
Tang Li broke into an angry stutter. "Once you use that thing, it's gone! How am I supposed to lend it out?"
The Pear Blossom Rain Needles could conceal a total of 27 needles. They could be launched one by one or all at the same time. One only needed to learn the mechanism to be able to use it. Due to its unique craftsmanship, each needle was expelled with startling amounts of force. The strength was enough to pierce through stone; the speed, enough to bypass many of the world's top experts. But each needle launched was like losing one of its teeth!
Seeing Tang Li look so angry and boorish, Han Yunxi felt a little stunned. So much for "killer looks from behind," he changed as easily as turning his body. Moreover, when this fellow spoke, it revealed his true colors as well. What kind of otherworldly Immortal-like man was this? At most, he only had an attractive appearance...
"It's not like we're using it all up," Long Feiye disapproved.
That only made Tang Li angrier. "Long Feiye, I can just go with you to take care of those people. Why are you bringing along a burden?"
Was he talking about her?
This time, Han Yunxi lost all her good impressions of Tang Li. You really couldn't judge a person by their looks, especially men!
1. Tang Li () - Tang is a surname that means "exaggerative, boastful, in vain," Li means "leave, part from, independent of."
2. Tang Clan () - tangmen, also known as Tang Sect or Tangmen, a well-known jianghu group often found in wuxia novels. Their members usually specialize in assassination and poisons, and have a neutral stance in various martial arts circles.
3. Pear Blossom Rain Needles () - baoyu lihua zhen, a type of assassination tool also found in various wuxia novels, in which the attacker can use to shoot a literal "rainstorm" of needles at one's enemies. You can read about the details of its specific lore here.