Chapter 241: A hopeless answer
If one kept count, Han Yunxi had already encountered Jun Yixie three times, but each of them had been under violent and dangerous situations. Now he was right outside the door. The more Gu Qishao looked at this woman, the more he realized just how daring she really was. He had no idea where she got the nerve to face Jun Yixie and demand for an antidote.
Knock, knock, knock. The pounding on the door was neither quick nor slow, but orderly and methodical. It was obvious that whoever was knocking was very calm.
"I'll go open the door," Gu Qishao was about to stand up when Han Yunxi held him back.
"What's the rush? I'll go."
Gu Qishao shrugged his shoulders and made a motion to invite Han Yunxi forward. However, she didn't immediately get up, but slowly finished chewing and swallowing the pastry in her hand first. Compared to the knocking, Han Yunxi's pace was even more calm and leisurely. Gu Qishao couldn't turn his head away from her, his smile filled with endless adoration. Han Yunxi didn't hesitate and directly opened the door. Though she'd made ample mental preparations, the person before the door still made her suck in a cold breath. She guessed that Jun Yixie would come alone, but didn't expect him to appear with his face exposed.
That aggressive looking face emanated the air of a wild king. Han Yunxi had already experienced it once, but she'd never forget it. Last time, she hadn't seen wrong. There really was a blood red eyebrow piercing above his right eye, and beneath his bangs was hidden a inscrutable totem symbol that looked both wild and mysterious. Right now, the two of them were standing face-to-face, separated only by the doorstep. Aside from Long Feiye, this was the first time Han Yunxi had felt such an overpowering aura.
Jun Yixie examined Han Yunxi from head to toe, as unbridled as ever. Han Yunxi didn't retreat, but bravely examined him in turn. Their eyes met by accident and Jun Yixie's gaze turned fiercer as he invaded her eyes with his own. Han Yunxi's eyes were clear and clean as she returned his stare. She had no idea that her aura right now was no less strong than that of the man before her. The entire world seemed to have fallen silent with the two of them as a dangerous atmosphere rose in the air. Behind Han Yunxi, Gu Qishao had already gripped the handle of his sword, tensing himself for danger at any second!
But Han Yunxi suddenly smiled. "Your Highness Duke of Kang has really done me an honor with your presence."
"To gain Qin Wangfei's invitation is my fortune accumulated from three lives," Jun Yixie quickly replied. However, his smile was more akin to a demon than any normal expression.
"Please." Han Yunxi magnanimously invited him in, her smile particularly attractive. She'd already calculated that if she proactively made the appointment, a man like Jun Yixie, who was also a duke of Northern Li, would still have the proper bearing. He wouldn't do something as refuse the appointment or seize the chance to kidnap her. Jun Yixie took large strides into the room, his gaze sweeping past Gu Qishao without taking him into note at all. Even here, he still harbored thoughts of kidnapping Han Yunxi because she was too useful a woman for him! But he wouldn't do such a thing. She was fearless enough to ask for an appointment with her of her own will despite their former enmity. If he took advantage of the situation to kidnap her, wouldn't his magnanimity be even more inferior than that of a woman's?
"Your Highness Duke of Kang, I believe you know why I asked you for this meeting," Han Yunxi got straight to the point. Long Tianmo's life was in danger and she only had two days left. There wasn't time to waste here. Jun Yixie had administered Bone Poison to Long Tianmo before sending him to the medical academy. If this wasn't to cause her trouble, then what was it?
Right now, Jun Yixie wasn't in a good mood at all. He sat by the table and slowly steeped his tea. "Your lordship doesn't know." He'd always been efficient with his tasks and dislike dawdling, but this time he was facing off against Han Yunxi. It was a rare chance for him to sit down and slowly chat.
Han Yunxi hated pretenders like him. When she saw that he was idle enough to brew tea, she placed her hand over the teacup and said directly, "Duke of Kang, Long Tianmo's poison has seeped to every joint in his body. You must have cultivated this toxin from the poison pond in Medicine City."
A flash of surprised flitted past Jun Yixie's eyes at her statement. He knew of Han Yunxi's skills, so it was normal for her to discover the poison in Long Tianmo's joints. But how was she so certain this poison came from the poison pond in Medicine City? Despite his surprise, Jun Yixie was determined to lengthen his time with Han Yunxi. He creased his eyebrows and replied, "Qin Wangfei, your lordship doesn't know what you're talking about."
Han Yunxi despised those who feigned civility for no reason. Wasn't it just pointless? She slowly narrowed her eyes and promptly dropped the bombshell. "Your Highness Duke of Kang, what do you think of exchanging one bottle of poison pond water for Long Tianmo's life?"
Jun Yixie couldn't hold himself back at this words and directly met her eyes. The glint in them betrayed his shock. Anyone who knew of Medicine City's Medicine Forest and its poison pond would be astonished by her words. After all, the three great clans of Medicine City had yet to discover how such a large poison pond had suddenly vanished. That night, Jun Yixie left with a body full of injuries, but the Mu Clan's people were all present. The large pond of water had indeed disappeared without a trace without Long Feiye and Han Yunxi ever getting a chance to touch it.
How could this woman have poison pond water?
The water of the poison pond was precious because it could cultivate new strains of poisons. The reason Jun Yixie could cultivate his Hundred Leaf Purple Jade Grass for Bone Poison was because of the little poison pond water he had on hand. Just how much poison pond water did this woman have?
"Han Yunxi, does the disappearance of the poison pond in Medicine City...have anything to do with you?" Jun Yixie probed.
"Your Highness Duke of Kang shouldn't blame me for things that disappeared into thin air. Medicine City isn't a place I can afford to offend," Han Yunxi was extremely conscientious with her answer.
"How could you have poison pond water?" Jun Yixie pressed.
"Your Highness Duke of Kang must have cultivated that poison with the water. If that's the case, does the disappearance of the pond have anything to do with you as well?" Han Yunxi blinked as she asked earnestly, her innocent expression enough to worry a person to death. Even Gu Qishao couldn't help but rub his chin as he listened from the side.
Medicine City's poison pond water?
So this woman had such a weighty bargaining chip in her hands! No wonder she had the confidence to meet with Jun Yixie! Originally, it should've been Han Yunxi begging Jun Yixie for help, but now it seemed like things were reversed. Jun Yixie was speechless before Han Yunxi's counter questioning. He finally stopped beating around the bush and said, "How can I be sure that the water in your hands is really from the poison pond?"
Hearing this, Han Yunxi knew that Jun Yixie had been moved. There was a market for this trade yet! Now she wasn't anxious, but sat back down and copied Jun Yixie to calmly pour herself tea. After polishing off a whole cup, she took out a bottle of poison from her sleeve and tossed it to Jun Yixie. "This was something I cultivated myself, I call it 'Bone Poison.'"
Jun Yixie held the poison and only had to sniff it to determine it was the Hundred Leaf Purple Jade Grass that he'd cultivated. The makeup and toxicity were completely identical, though the appearance differed. Without the poison pond water and a set variety of medicinal plants, it'd be impossible to cultivate such a poison! Han Yunxi must have poison pond water on hand; more than that, she had to have the matching plants he'd taken so much time to collect together as well. No matter how this woman had gotten such things, the fact remained that they were in her possession!
"The Tianning crown prince's life isn't worth just one bottle of poison water, is it?" Jun Yixie smiled coldly.
Han Yunxi had no plans to retreat, but adopted a helpless expression. "Aye, I only have one bottle on hand. I can only trouble our crown prince by devaluing his worth."
These words were directly said to obscure the facts, making it impossible for Jun Yixie to tell their validity. He had even less ideas about how Han Yunxi had gotten the poison pond water in the first place. Of course, Jun Yixie wasn't so simple to deal with. Despite the chaos in his heart, his face was as steady as Mt. Tai. "How could Tianning's clear heir to the throne be devalued? The face of Tianning's Imperial Clan is much more important than the worth of a single life."
Jun Yixie had spoken rightly. Long Tianmo's sorrows was nothing compared to his title as crown prince. He had lost half of his youth already by being sick in bed. After recovering from his illness, he had the misfortune to become Emperor Tianhui's chess piece. In this moment, Han Yunxi's thoughts turned distracted. She couldn't imagine how Long Tianmo would face his father and sovereign, Emperor Tianhui, after recovering this time.
"What you're saying is that we can't complete this transaction?" Gu Qishao butted in.
Jun Yixie shot a glance at him but didn't reply. Instead, he rose and prepared to leave. No matter how precious the poison water wall, a single bottle really wasn't worth the value of Long Tianmo's life. Under these circumstances, Han Yunxi should increase her bargaining chip somehow, but she simply stood up as well and smiled. "It really is regretful. Your Highness Duke of Kang, may we have a chance to meet again."
Jun Yixie's heart gave a jolt, but he didn't believe that Han Yunxi would really give up just like that. If she couldn't save Long Tianmo, she'd have a lot of problems.
"See you again!" Jun Yixie cupped his fist with a bow and really turned to leave. Han Yunxi didn't move at the sight, but remained as steadfast as Mt. Tai. Gu Qishao kept to one side, still rubbing his chin as he counted Jun Yixie's footsteps. Jun Yixie reached the door before his lips curved up dangerously. He stopped and said coldly, "Qin Wangfei, your lordship has brought the antidote, so what about the poison pond water?"
"One will be traded for the other. Where's the antidote?" Han Yunxi didn't allow herself to suffer an disadvantage.
Only then did Jun Yixie turn and take out an antidote from his sleeve. At the same time, Han Yunxi took out her bottle of poison pond water. Seeing this, Gu Qishao quickly added in a low voice, "Wait a second, we need him to test it to see if it's fake before we trade!" But Han Yunxi didn't seem to have heard at all. She stared at the antidote in Jun Yixie's hands with furrowed eyebrows, her entire concentration on that bottle.
"Qin Wangfei, can we trade?" Jun Yixie held the antidote as he walked closer, but Han Yunxi actually backed away, angry.
"Jun Yixie, your antidote is a fake! That's the antidote for Thousand Cassia Grass! You're shameless!"
Jun Yixie stilled his steps, once again shocked. He hadn't made the antidote for Bone Poison yet, so of course the one in his hands was a fake, but how could Han Yunxi tell with a look from so far away? She could even accurately pinpoint what kind of poison this antidote was for.
This woman...was too frightening!
Gu Qishao was stunned by Han Yunxi's abilities as well, but he recovered quickly enough to stand in front of her protectively, furthering increasing her distance from Jun Yixie. "Duke of Kang, are you still a man by lying to a woman like this?" he sneered.
Jun Yixie's complexion wavered between red and white, but he quickly overlooked his own embarrassment to say coldly, "Han Yunxi, tell your lordship where the poison pond water came from. This time, your lordship definitely won't cause you any difficulties."
"Where's the antidote?" Han Yunxi demanded. That was her main focal point. The entire reason she'd taken this risk was for the sake of the antidote.
But Jun Yixie only gave her a hopeless answer. "The antidote doesn't exist yet. Your lordship wants Long Tianmo...to die in Medical City!"