Chapter 267: Too embarrassing
Han Yunxi could clearly see through Duanmu Yao's little scheme. Since she'd teamed up with Jun Yixie, she must know that the Bone Poison had no antidote, and that nobody had seen a hint of the poison beast in the Sky Pit. Duanmu Yao had swallowed the certainty that she couldn't save Long Tianmo.
Very well, she'd see who would eat whom today!
Han Yunxi's icy gaze stared straight at Duanmu Yao as she retorted brusquely, "His Highness has already refused the marriage decree with Princess Duan. What does him losing face have anything to do with you?"
Nobody expected Han Yunxi to strike back at Duanmu Yao with the marriage alliance in public. She hadn't spoken a word about it despite being a rightful consort back then. Now it almost looked like the rightful consort was rebuking a would-be mistress of her husband. In a flash, everyone's eyes on Duanmu Yao had changed into ridiculing or looking down on her, though there were sympathetic gazes mixed in the lot. Duanmu Yao was caught off-guard, her decision to be a simple onlooker foiled as she became the laughingstock of the crowd. At first, she could still bear it, but the sound of laughter made her eyes fill with tears. As a woman, was there anything more humiliating than being rejected for marriage?
Shamed into rage, Duamu Yao cried, "Han Yunxi, don't be too outrageous!"
But Han Yunxi was all innocence as she replied. "It was the Duke of Qin who rejected you, not me. If you want to blame anyone, then blame him." Today she was in a bad temper. Who cares what kind of relationship Long Feiye and Duanmu Yao had? Since they'd made her unhappy, she was willing to attack them both-even almighty Long Feiye!
Her words caused the crowd to fall silent. Long Feiye's firm, cold mouth seemed to twitch; he might've been caught unawares as well. Still, he chose to remain silent and watch on quietly.
"You...you..." Duanmu Yao was truly angered to tears, so much that she couldn't speak.
Many rumors had circulated about her failed marriage alliance, much of which she'd released herself on purpose. Her motive was to have everyone believe that the Duke of Qin only rejected her because there were difficulties behind the scenes that were inconvenient to elaborate on. At least this way, she could save some of her face. Still, Han Yunxi's words had clearly told everyone that it was the Duke of Qin's own idea to reject her, rather than anyone else's idea. There were no internal difficulties beyond the fact that the Duke of Qin simply didn't want her. Once news of this spread, how was she to have any face to see people in the future?!
"What about me?" Han Yunxi said with a naive expression, before she teased, "Princess Duan, if I were you, I'd definitely avoid the Duke of Qin as soon as I saw him. It's too embarrassing, isn't it?"
"Han Yunxi, you're going too far!" Duanmu Yao was truly angered to tears. She'd rather take out her sword and stab this woman to death, but she had no choice but to endure. As soon as she made a move here, she'd lose. She looked towards Long Feiye and said in a coquettish voice choked with sobs, "Senior brother, just look, she's too much of a bully!"
Long Feiye didn't pay Duanmu Yao any attention, but kept his eyes on Han Yunxi the entire time. Sadly, Han Yunxi wasn't looking at him. She hadn't met his eyes from the first moment she stepped onto the scene. Actually, what Long Feiye hated most of all was women arguing with each other, but as he stared at Han Yunxi's side profile, he felt a sudden wish for her to turn and look at him and tell him she wanted to act this way. It was a pity that Han Yunxi didn't turn back. She stood in the middle of the crowd like a proud but solitary soldier.
"Senior brother!" Duanmu Yao stomped her feet to act like a spoiled child, obstinately believing that he'd saved her at the Sky Pit for more reasons than listening to his master's words. They'd both entered Celestial Mountain Sword Sect as children and were its only two closed door disciples. After being martial brother and sister for so many years, it was impossible for them to share no feelings at all. At most, it was just his personality that was naturally cold and expressionless.
While everyone was waiting for Long Feiye to react, he was waiting for Han Yunxi to turn around. In the end, he didn't say anything at all, much less acknowledge Duanmu Yao. Duanmu Yao might have said a lot of wrong things, but she was right on one point. This man was naturally cold and detached. He never responded to her, and she could never get an answer from him.
Long Feiye's prolonged silence caused a flash of disappointment to flit past Han Yunxi's eyes, but that quickly disappeared. She finally turned around, still avoiding Long Feiye's eyes as she smiled. "His Highness Duke of Qin has tacitly agreed as well. I think you should leave, Princess Duan."
"You!" Duanmu Yao felt like spitting up blood. Helplessly, she changed the topic. "Qin Wangfei, stop trying to buy time by spreading gossip. Human lives are more important. As a doctor yourself, isn't time equal to lives? You should hurry up and save that person."
"Princess Duan, it was Third Elder who made the bet with this wangfei, and it's Tianning's crown prince who's waiting for this wangfei to save him. What do they have to do with you? Why are you in such a rush?" Han Yunxi was calm and composed.
"Because this princess wants to see if you really have the skills, or if you're just a swindler with an undeserved reputation!" Duanmu Yao said overbearingly.
"Has this wangfei cheated or swindled you? Princess Duan, all this wangfei did was beat you at the Plum Blossom Meet so you couldn't compose poetry for the rest of your life. Are you still brooding over that?" Han Yunxi brought up an old score again. What a big disgrace that'd had been. Anyone would definitely brood on it for the rest of their life. Despite that, Han Yunxi was extremely self-assured when she asked the question.
Around them, more than a few people couldn't resist the urge to smile. Commentary rose on all sides once again. Western Zhou's princess was skilled in both literary skills, martial arts, and appearances. There were people who envied her every year or begged for an audience with her. As things stood, she was the one with the undeserved reputation. In terms of looks, she was indeed beautiful, but unkind. Look at how indignant she was now, just like a tigress preparing to eat a person whole. In terms of literary accomplishments, she'd actually lost to Han Yunxi, who was of common birth? And in terms of martial arts, that wasn't something everyone cared about. In this time and age, virtuous women knew no martial arts!
When Duanmu Yao heard the whispers, jeers, and laughter around them, her fairy-like face turned savage. She hadn't raised any old scores with this woman, but she'd done the opposite to humiliate her.
"Han Yunxi, you're clearly dawdling for time here because you can't save him," she raged.
"I'm not!" Han Yunxi rebutted loudly.
"Then why don't you go save him?!" Duanmu Yao didn't want to argue with Han Yunxi anymore. If this kept on, who knows what other old accounts she'd dig up. But as it turned out, Duanmu Yao had realized the possibility all too late.
An unhurried Han Yunxi remarked, "Princess Duan, I saw you with Northern Li's Duke of Kang earlier. I heard that he's a poisons master as well, but I don't know if he's around. I want him to give testimony on my behalf."
The crowd exploded into an uproar at her words!
The relationship between the three countries of Tianning, Western Zhou and Northern Li were well known to all. Duanmu Yao actually colluded with Jun Yixie. This wasn't just a private friendship, but implicated national affairs. In a flash, Duanmu Yao's furious red face immediately turned ashen white. She never thought that Han Yunxi would reveal the connection between her and Jun Yixie in such a setting, much less expose Jun Yixie's aptitude with poisons. Over half of the medical academy was standing witness today, so Han Yunxi's words could quickly spread beyond the academy to Medical City, and then the entirety of Cloud Realm Continent.
How was she supposed to explain to her Imperial Father then? Because the marriage alliance had failed, Imperial Father had started to dislike her a bit. Meanwhile, the revelation that Jun Yixie knew poisons would cause massive waves back in Northern Li. Forget about Jun Yixie though, her own troubles were getting big!
"Han Yunxi, don't frame a case against me!" she hastily denied the claims.
Finally, Han Yunxi turned to look Long Feiye in the eyes. "Your Highness Duke of Qin, you saw Princess Duan and the Duke of Kang together with your own eyes as well. Chenqie isn't lying, am I?"
Duanmu Yao was scared to death. She immediately looked towards Long Feiye, her eyes filled with a pleading look. She'd already told Tang Li that she'd help senior brother face off against Jun Yixie if he ever needed it. Both her and her senior brother had grown up in imperial households. He should be very clear of her consequences should the princess who failed to secure a marriage lost favor at court.
Senior brother, you can't be so heartless!
Long Feiye didn't pay Duanmu Yao any attention, but looked at Han Yunxi's serious expression. Subconsciously, his own gaze filled with warmth. This woman had done everything ingeniously. He was just worrying over the fact that there was no chance to expose Duanmu Yao and Jun Yixie's collaboration, as well as Jun Yixie's knowledge of poisons, when Han Yunxi's arguing had fixed the problem for him. Because he seemed to want to look at Han Yunxi longer, he didn't immediately reply. However, Han Yunxi only looked at him for a while before averting her gaze, her clear eyes devoid of emotion.
Only then did Long Feiye withdrew his thoughts and remarked, "Your lordship did see. Third Elder doesn't understand poisons, so there's harm in letting Princess Duan invite the Duke of Kang here for a demonstration."
Han Yunxi didn't find Long Feiye's reply out of character. These matters naturally involved relationships between the three countries, so spreading the news would only benefit Long Feiye without any harm.
Duanmu Yao, though, was crestfallen. "Senior brother..." Her voice stuck in her throat as her eyes turned red and threatened to overflow with tears. Han Yunxi's words might have no weight, but Long Feiye was different. Who wouldn't believe his words?
Now she couldn't pass muster in Western Zhou's imperial court!
More commentary rose around them as various people made guesses and conjectures. Some even theorized that the Duke of Qin had rejected the marriage alliance because Duanmu Yao and Jun Yixie were having an affair. Duanmu Yao stood in place with gritted teeth as she stared at Han Yunxi, her eyes vicious enough to kill. In order to see Han Yunxi lose, she'd paid too heavy of a price. No matter what, she was going to hold onto the issue of Long Tianmo's poison to the end.
Han Yunxi, don't think you can escape. This princess's namesake might have been ruined today, but I'll drag you down with me!
Duanmu Yao was about to speak with the demonic expression on her face when Han Yunxi cut before her, denying her the chance to create more difficulties. "Princess Duan, since you're so concerned with whether I win or lose the bet, come inside with me if you have the guts! I'll give you a good show!"
So speaking, she turned around elegantly and took big strides towards the inside of the rooms. The commentary stopped at her actions, the crowd marveling at how this woman looked so noble even when she walked. It was only after Han Yunxi entered the door that Duanmu Yao recovered her senses. What should've been her method to threaten Han Yunxi had turned into a weapon for provoking herself instead. A keen sense of frustration filled her heart. What had she become? Someone singing her own tune while deluding herself with wishes?
She wouldn't accept that!
Han Yunxi had to be pretending, she had to be scaring her on purpose.
Duanmu Yao followed her inside without the slightest hesitation...