Chapter 246: Just who's leading the way?
Possibly due to his good relations with Gu Qishao, Luo Zuishan was rather familiar with the Poison Sect's forbidden area. He took Han Yunxi along a small path as they hurried towards the Sky Pit. They almost met a few guards along the way, but fortunately got through without a mishap. By the time they reached the Sky Pit, it was almost daylight.
Against the meager light of dawn, the Sky Pit looked like the gigantic mouth of a volcano. The inside was filled with lush green vines. It didn't seem like much from a distance, but a closer look inside had Han Yunxi sucking in a cold breath. This Sky Pit was so deep that it was impossible to see the bottom. Even light couldn't reach that far down. If you stared at it for too long, it'd start to resemble a black hole that could suck in everything. Han Yunxi's complete attention was on the Sky Pit, while Luo Zuishan had long started looking all over for Gu Qishao without success. He whistled a few secret signals without getting any reply.
"He should've gone down by now," Han Yunxi said simply.
"This..." Luo Zuishan panicked as he rushed forward and whistled into the Sky Pit. Unfortunately, there wasn't even an echo, so how could there be a reply? Despite his anxiety, Luo Zuishan was still rational enough to look around them before he said without hesitation, "Let's go, quickly!"
Though they didn't come in time to stop Gu Qishao, they could only go step by step. Since the map was missing, the upper echelons of the medical academy would definitely increase their guards here after they finished their meeting. Originally, there weren't that many guards on the smaller paths, but now there were obviously more around. Heaven knows what other measures the upper levels had taken after their meeting adjourned. It was possible that the entire Sky Pit would be surrounded. If they didn't leave now, they'd be captured for sure. There was a crime that they couldn't wash clean even if they jumped into the Yellow River.
Han Yunxi didn't want to go, but the situation here was worse than she imagined. The Sky Pit was huge, but there was no way down at all beyond jumping and floating down. For a person who didn't know martial arts, this truly was dangerous. Han Yunxi loathed her body to the bones. Since she couldn't cultivate inner energy, she couldn't even learn things like lightness techniques. What a waste of a body!
"Qin Wangfei, stop looking. Hurry and leave, let's think of another way," Luo Zuishan urged.
Han Yunxi was reluctant, but they couldn't just stay here either. Her own ability made it impossible to descend into that pit. This damned Gu Qishao, why didn't he bring her along for such a wonderful thing?
"Let's go!" Of course, Han Yunxi was very decisive as well. She resolved to find Tang Li for help. As for that other forceful, unreasonable fellow...she didn't even want to see his face right now. Han Yunxi and Luo Zuishan were about to depart when a white figure suddenly appeared out of thin air before them. The two of them gave a start before realizing it was a man with his face half-covered. He was dressed from head to toe in just one color: snowy white robes and a white face veil1. A white jade hairpin held his hair in place and acted as his only accessory. The rays of the rising sun shone from behind the man, coating him in a layer of soft golden light. In her trance, Han Yunxi thought she was looking at an angel who had descended from Heaven.
Still, she was quick to recover and marveled at this man's speed. It really seemed that he'd appeared out of thin air. Their surroundings were open and spacious, but she hadn't seen him coming at all. A white or black face veil both indicated people with ulterior motives, but Han Yunxi couldn't sense any enmity from this man. It was only after Luo Zuishan spoke that she regained her reason.
"Just who are you? You actually dared to infringe upon our Poison Sect's forbidden grounds!" Luo Zuishan said angrily from the position of an owner.
The white-robed man had eyes that resembled a thousand-year still lake, quiet and reserved. He didn't pay attention to Luo Zuishan, but made a bow with clasped hands towards Han Yunxi. "Miss Yunxi, I have offended."
Han Yunxi almost didn't realize the moniker was for her. After she transmigrated, she'd been in a wedding and become a married woman. She'd long lost any relation with the word "Miss." Gu Qishao often called her "lass," which she already felt awkward enough, but this guy actually called her a "Miss." Still, this white-robed man actually knew her name, so he had to understand her to some extent. Why did he call her this way? But soon enough, Han Yunxi found that she had no time to consider anything at all, because the white-robed man immediately appeared behind her as soon as he finished speaking. Then he grabbed her by the shoulder.
He'd clearly been standing in front of her with some distance a second ago, but by the next second he was behind her. How formidable were his lightness skills to master such illusory speeds?
"What are you planning to do?" Han Yunxi didn't even have time to take out her poison needles before the man pushed off from the ground. Yet another second passed before he'd managed to tow her to the air above the center of the Sky Pit. This was all well and good. Han Yunxi had to withdraw the needles she was about to launch from her fingers. Since they were both in the air, she'd fall to her death if anything happened to the white-robed man and he loosened his grip. She gave up on the idea of struggling and wasting her strength, instead choosing to ask calmly, "Are you planning to take me down there?"
Since this fellow knew here and had even kidnapped her here, he had to have come for a favor from her poison skills.
"I'll have to trouble Miss Yunxi to lead the way for this one. If I have offended in any way, I ask that you make allowances," The white-robed gentleman was very polite.
"What allowances? Are you going to split the poison beast halfways with me after you catch him?" Han Yunxi grinned.
But the white-robed man didn't even think twice before replying, "All right."
"Then how am I supposed to believe you?" Han Yunxi asked again.
Once more, the white-robed man's answer exceeded her expectations. "Even if Miss Yunxi doesn't believe me...you'll have to." So speaking, he tightened his grip on Han Yunxi's shoulder before plummeting into the darkness of the Sky Pit like a flash of lightning.
"Qin Wangfei!" Luo Zuishan cried out in alarm. He didn't even get a second glance before the two disappeared.
He was screwed. If Gu Qishao found out he bought Han Yunxi here, only for her to get kidnaped, he'd probably beat his old bones to death with a mallet. Luo Zuishan was so worried that he didn't know what to do. Helpless, he could only return to the medical academy instead. As predicted, the entire Sky Pit was soon tightly surrounded by guards that prevented anyone from trespassing, or the trespassers from coming out. The people who'd charged into the Sky Pit had already scattered in its maze-like corridors deep down in its limestone cave. With all the hundreds of traps present, they were too busy to worry about the situation aboveground.
The white-robed man took Han Yunxi all the way to the limestone cave. As soon as they landed, she struck out with her foot to give him a vicious kick. She thought she was already extremely fast, but the white-robed man was faster as he dodged out of the way.
"Heheh..." Han Yunxi turned aside, smiling hypocritically.
The white-robed man looked at her but didn't get angry. "Miss Yunxi, let's go."
Han Yunxi nodded and feigned carelessness as she reached out a hand to brush loose strands of hair out of face. The next second, Pointer Needles shot out of her fingers towards the white-robed man's face! But he simply caught the needles with his fingers despite the short distance between them. His speed was so fast that Han Yunxi didn't even see him move, only the results afterwards. Although he'd been ambushed for the second time in a row, the white-robed man still didn't lose his temper. He even gave the poison needles back to Han Yunxi.
"Back to you."
Han Yunxi's mouth twitched in disbelief. She didn't spare him another glance for insulting her assassination skills! Just how much did this white-robed man understand about her? Why did he seem familiar with her every move and action? Just who was he? And why did he call her 'Miss Yunxi?'
"Miss Yunxi, go this way." There were three paths before them, each stretching on into the darkness unknown. The white-robed man chose the rightmost path and took out a night luminous pearl to light the way. Wasn't she supposed to show him the way? He'd made his own choice instead.
"Why take this path?" Han Yunxi asked seriously. She'd long started up the detox system but had yet to find any signs of poison. Perhaps the entrance had no poison traps at all, perhaps the poisons that existed here were unrecognizable to the detox system. She was someone who cherished her life and thus, still prudent.
"Intuition," the white-robed man had a very warm smile. "Let's go, it won't be wrong."
Han Yunxi assumed he'd push her forward to take the brunt of the danger, but he actually led the way while shielding her behind him. Wasn't this the perfect chance for a sneak attack? Han Yunxi had already withdrawn her poison needles, but put them back after a moment of hesitation. Forget it, why not see what this fellow was up to first? She could ascertain that he hadn't brought her down here simply for the sake of leading the way. Before long, their journey along the rightmost path triggered the first warning in Han Yunxi's detox system. 300 meters in front of them was snake poison. Judging by its type, it was a living poison. In other words, poison snakes existed 300 meters in front of them, a sizable quantity to boot!
Han Yunxi was about to alert the white-robed man when he suddenly stopped and groped about the cave wall. Somehow, he found a secret switch and revealed a stone door that slowly opened up beside them. Behind the door was yet another long, dark passageway.
"Hey, you know the way!" Han Yunxi was shocked, a trace of anger in her tone.
The white-robed man remained as gentle as always, his slight smile perceptible even through his white face veil. "Miss Yunxi, you can choose to go by yourself or follow my lead."
"Why did you take me down here? You tricked me!" Han Yunxi asked, enraged. Wasn't she supposed to lead the way? Wasn't he here for her poison skills?
"Follow me and you'll understand," the white-robed man said again.
"You!" Han Yunxi fumed. This man was playing a game of words with her. He knew that she wouldn't leave him, but still gave her the option. The white-robed man entered the passageway behind the stone door first. He didn't even look back as he walked farther and farther away without waiting for Han Yunxi.
Just which part of her was this fellow aiming at?
Han Yunxi narrowed her eyes. After a pause, she quickly followed after him until she caught up. So she'd go with him, so what? Who was afraid of whom?
The white-robed man simply turned to glance at her without taking putting up any guards...
1. face veil - Actually, now that I think of it, a majority of the "facemasks" we've encountered in this story are most likely face veils-aka cloths tied around the head that cover the face from the eyes down. Further chapters will reflect this change accordingly-I may edit earlier chapters if I have time.