Chapter 275: A little something extra
With Gu Qishao leading the way, it took less than half a day before they arrived at the halfway point of the main peak of Lotus Mountain. The lower temperature had affected the spread of the plants, which were noticeably sparser at higher elevations. But this was still the first time Han Yunxi had seen such a marvelous spread. Above the halfway point of Lotus Mountain's main peak, not a single hint of vegetation could be seen. There was only a strip of barren land, which was about the width of three footsteps, that encircled the entire mountain. Every plant beneath that strip grew normally in thick profusion. Meanwhile, a jungle existed above the strip filled with trees with umbrella-like canopies. Their countless roots trailed down from the branches like banyan trees, while a wild mass of vines covered the ground like a green carpet across the entire mountain. It even grew flowers in five to six different colors. The sight from the halfway point to the peak of the mountain was akin to that of a thick, dense forest.
Han Yunxi couldn't help but gape dumbstruck. Though she had no idea how much storage space the detox system had, she was convinced that even ten detox systems wouldn't be enough to contain all the vegetation in this mountain. At the same time, she didn't know how big of an appetite Lil Thing possessed, but she was sure that this mountain would help it eat its fill! Thank goodness she remembered this place, or else she would've gone broke for sure!
Long Feiye wouldn't have come without her as he was completely ignorant about poisons. His guards had also already left ahead of time. Han Yunxi knocked on the medical pouch, signaling Lil Thing to come out. He could eat his fill here! Instead, she felt a ticklish sensation by her foot and looked down to see Lil Thing waving at her excitedly. If not for Gu Qishao's presence, Lil Thing might have cried out in joy instead. It never thought that its master would be smart enough to take it here.
After all, it had spent its days here eating, eating, and eating until it grew up!
Han Yunxi secretly waved a hand. Lil Thing seemed to have understood her, because it immediately crossed the barren strip of land to the other side. But rather than go any farther, it stopped to turn and look at Han Yunxi. She was afraid that he didn't get the message, so she kept waving her hand to say that he could go play as he liked. Still, Lil Thing kept darting glances back at her every few steps.
Seeing this, Gu Beiyue said in a low voice, "Is it saying goodbye to you? Will it come back to find you after it leaves?"
Han Yunxi really hadn't considered this issue. "It should."
Actually, aside for curing Long Tianmo's poison, she didn't particularly want to gain a poison beast. She'd never thought of using its poisons to do anything atrocious, so there was no need to have such a powerful creature. If Lil Thing liked her enough to stay by her side, then she would simply see it as fate. If Lil Thing decided to leave, then she'd treated it as the end of their fated encounter. After all, the poisons here were more fitting for it than her medical pouch.
Lil Thing saw its master and Gu Beiyue speaking from a distance and dearly wanted to speak from impatience, but it was afraid of being found out by Gu Qishao. Aiya, it looked like it'd take a while before its new master understood what it was trying to tell her. It wanted to take her to the very peak of the poison land, where many seldom-seen ingredients grew. There were even a few corrosive poison plants there that no one had found for decades. Lil Thing waited in the same place for a while, only to see that Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue were completely ignoring it and engaging in a conversation with in lowered whispers.
Stupid master! Stupid white-robed gentleman!
Lil Thing rolled around in the thick mat of vines before disappearing like a streak of smoke. It might as well eat its fill at the peak before going back to find them. Though it was starving, it'd still find the tastiest poisons of the bunch in this land of plenty!
When Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue heard the soft scampering sounds of Lil Thing running away, they both were startled and looked simultaneously towards Gu Qishao. But he hadn't paid any attention to the noise just then; instead, he was looking at the peak with a rather serious expression.
"Gentleman Gu seems rather familiar with this place," Gu Beiyue spoke up.
Gu Qishao looked back at him with an unpleasant expression. "I'm not!"
Han Yunxi gave an intentional chuckle. This fellow clearly knew to take the side roads to avoid guards en route and even helped them bypass a few traps. Who'd believe it if he said he didn't know his way around? There was a 99 percent chance that Gu Qishao was from the medical academy, though his exact identity was still a complete mystery. Why had he refused to show himself on their grounds? All right, she wasn't that interested in knowing anyways. She just wanted to enter the poisons warehouse and collect, collect, collect everything until her detox system was full.
"Let's go in!" Han Yunxi said, before jumping across the strip of barren land. Gu Beiyue immediately followed, while Gu Qishao followed behind them.
"Poison lass, how are you planning to 'widen your experiences and knowledge'?" Gu Qishao asked with a grin.
"Just by strolling around for a look!" Han Yunxi said, collecting poisons into her detox system as she climbed her way up. She really was here just to look around. Of course, whenever she saw something good, she'd collect it for herself. Both Gu Qishao and Gu Beiyue doubted that sightseeing was her only motive, but all Han Yunxi did was look left and right as she walked around without even stopping to pick poisons.
Just what was this woman here for?
While Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao were foolishly tailing along behind her, Han Yunxi had already collected quite a few poisons in secret. The detox system had detected that the strongest poisons were at the peak, so Han Yunxi calculated that the distribution of poisons must go from strongest to weakest. In other words, the best stuff was at the top. They'd definitely be useful, and since Han Yunxi had been filling her detox system on the way up, it should be just about full by the time she was done.
Gu Beiyue was quiet on their journey, but Gu Qishao couldn't stand the silence. "Poison lass, did you come just to climb mountains?" He assumed that Han Yunxi would go crazy collecting things as soon as they arrived, but she hadn't touched a thing.
Han Yunxi turned towards him with a slight smile. "Mhm."
This lass! Gu Qishao could only smile helplessly. "Fine, I'll climb with you! But don't blame me for not reminding you. Once it gets dark, there will be hundreds of bugs traveling at night. It's very dangerous then, so we have to leave before then."
Han Yunxi finally grew serious. "Really?"
Hundreds of bugs traveling by night meant that the poison bugs would form into swarms to forage for good. For example, there might be giant swarms of venomous ants, or even lizards. This was a common phenomenon whenever there were lots of poisonous plants present. The plants here were so dense and thick that one could well imagine the horrors of the night. At this, Han Yunxi recalled one detail. After a pause, she really spoke up.
"I want to find some strong corrosive poison plants."
Since she was here, she might as well find some plants in common with the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. Even if she couldn't understand that particular poison, its terrifying corrosive properties should have originated from a highly corrosive plant or two. Long Feiye had his reasons for coming here to search, as well.
Well, all right. Ever since she'd arrived, her detox system had been searching for the corrosive poison plants detected at the peak. Han Yunxi told herself that her heart wasn't turning soft; instead, it was because she'd agreed to do this for Long Feiye. Since that was what she said, then she might as well help him to the end. It was important to restock the detox system and have Lil Thing eat its fill, so the issue with the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was just a little something extra.
"Do you need them?" Gu Qishao asked. Standing together with Gu Beiyue, their differences were even more obvious. Gu Beiyue didn't ask any questions, but Gu Qishao asked questions about everything. Han Yunxi was about to reply when a vine suddenly arched towards her back. Gu Qishao's first reaction was to push her out of the way with a warning.
"Careful, it's a Man-Eating Vine!"
Unfortunately, it was already too late. Han Yunxi was fine, but Gu Qishao had already been entrapped by the plant. At the tip of the thick vine was an opening filled with a pus-like juice that threw itself at Gu Qishao.
"Don't!" Han Yunxi cried and released her needles, but another vine suddenly appeared in front of her to block her way. Fortunately, Gu Beiyue grabbed onto the first attacking vine with his arms, but only a few seconds had passed before Gu Qishao was completely tied up. Even if he had Heaven-shaking strength, he wouldn't be able to extricate himself. Gu Beiyue could only hold onto the attack vine for dear life, but Han Yunxi was in even more danger. Vine after vine appeared from all directions to surround her. Heaven knows whether these Man-Eating Vines had undergone mutations, but she couldn't poison them to death no matter which toxins she used. Seeing this, Gu Beiyue's eyebrows furrowed. He was about to make a move when a black shadow suddenly flew over and broke through the circle of vines to grab Han Yunxi.
"Long Feiye..." Gu Qishao's mouth had been nearly gagged shut by the vines, but he still forced the name out from his lips.
That's right, Long Feiye had arrived.
He held onto Han Yunxi tightly with one hand while his other sliced through the vines with his sword, promptly causing the plants around them to collapse. However, he didn't save Gu Qishao and only spared Gu Beiyue a cold look before turning to leave with her. Han Yunxi was stunned at first, but quickly recovered to exclaim, "Quick, save Gu Qishao! Hurry!"
Long Feiye's face was like ice. He didn't answer her, but took Han Yunxi to run down the mountain. Han Yunxi struggled with all her might, anxious. "Gu Qishao was trapped because he saved me. Help him!"
If Gu Qishao hadn't pushed her away, she would've been the one who was trapped. Still, Long Feiye didn't reply. His eyes stared straight ahead, a frighteningly serious air around his entire being.
"Let me go!" In the midst of her flustered feelings, Han Yunxi suddenly realized that she didn't need Long Feiye to save him as she could do it herself. She had plenty of corrosive poisons on her, so why hadn't she thought of using them back then?!
"Han Yunxi, what do you mean by traveling with two full grown men up a mountain when you're already married?" Long Feiye asked coldly.
Han Yunxi was startled first, then angry. What right did he have to ask her questions? Hadn't she said before that bridges would be bridges and roads would be roads? "Can you save them before I explain?" she suppressed her fury and asked earnestly. Heaven knew how long Gu Beiyue could hold out. But Long Feiye was angry too and refused to answer. He didn't even spare her another glance.
Han Yunxi kept struggling before eventually starting to attack in earnest. Long Feiye landed on a tree branch, one hand holding onto her while the other deflected her poison needles. The more they fought, the fiercer they became, but it was obvious that Long Feiye was yielding to Han Yunxi the whole time. Otherwise, how could she have troubled him for this long? It was then that an icy female voice called out from the side.
"Ye'er, so this is Han Yunxi?"