Chapter 280: So you know that I have cares, too
Chu Qingge couldn't wait for Han Yunxi to agree. As soon as she heard 'all right,' she immediately asked, "Which of the four remaining doors are you going to pick?"
It was almost as if she was worried that Han Yunxi would change her mind. Han Yunxi didn't, but generously replied, "You choose first."
"No need!" Chu Qingge was very proud.
Han Yunxi was too lazy to play haughty with her and shrugged her shoulders. "Are you going to pick the second door?"
"I'll pick the third one!" Chu Qingge replied immediately. For her, it didn't matter which door she chose. The fact was that Han Yunxi stood to lose the most with this kind of duel. Only one of the doors led to the secret passage that was hiding their goal. The others were like the first, and led to dead ends. She refused to believe that Han Yunxi's luck was good enough to chose the right passageway. Even if she did, she'd still have to deal with the traps hidden inside. Maybe she'd even run into the scariest trap of the bunch. No matter what, it'd be impossible for her to re-emerge unscathed. Since she didn't know martial arts, she'd be a lot slower when it came to escaping. Perhaps she'd even lose her life trying.
Of course, Chu Qingge knew she didn't have a chance of escaping uninjured either, but she was willing to get hurt if it meant Han Yunxi would take the same risk as well. Even if they were both injured, Han Yunxi's injuries would be worse than hers! Chu Qingge strode to the third door and said coldly, "We'll set a time for an hour to now. Whoever doesn't return will count as a loss. Whoever gets the heaviest injuries will lose as well!"
"All right!" Han Yunxi agreed frankly as she attempted to wrest out of Long Feiye's grasp. Unfortunately, Long Feiye only held her all the more tightly, his face gloomy to the point of being frightening. This woman had acted on her own. She's simply seeking death!
"Let go!" Han Yunxi muttered in a low voice. Long Feiye didn't. He had already decided to go back on his word. Compared to making Han Yunxi face danger, he'd rather have an all-out brawl instead. But Han Yunxi simply lifted her head and said, "Let go of my hand...and your worrying, won't you? Trust me this once."
Let go of her hand and his worries?
Han Yunxi, so you know that I have cares, too!
It's good that you know! Since I have cares, how could I let you go?
Long Feiye still didn't release her, so a helpless Han Yunxi could only say, "Long Feiye, when have I ever lied to you? Or left you disappointed?"
Truly, she'd done well every single time, whether it was her matters or his business. She'd always finished everything up beautifully, so there were generally no faults for him to nitpick. Even in times of true danger, she could turn bad luck into good. Everyone was watching them for their decision, but Long Feiye didn't care. When he finally let her go, it was because of the self-confidence and determination in Han Yunxi's eyes.
He dropped his voice and said in a quiet, even gentle tone, "Be careful. If you run out of options, then come back out. Your lordship will be right at the entrance."
This was just like his words at the inn, when he'd told Han Yunxi that he'd be in Medical City the entire time. As he saw it, this woman must have discovered something again. Either that, or she'd figured out which one was the correct passage already.
She was always bound to give others a pleasant surprise.
Aunt Ru wanted to dissuade Han Yunxi as well, but gave up the idea when she saw that Long Feiye had let her go. Chu Qingge couldn't help but hasten the issue when she saw Han Yunxi and Long Feiye still staring at each other.
"Han Yunxi, you're not thinking of backing off because you're afraid to lose, are you?"
No one had ever overlooked Chu Qingge before. As a cold and haughty type, she kept her anger in her heart as her gaze turned calculating. "Han Yunxi, how about we raise the stakes? Do you dare?"
They already agreed that the loser would leave this place entirely, so what else could she do? And after her courage had been called into question, what else could Han Yunxi say? She wore a face full of calm. "There's no harm in saying what you think."
Chu Qingge smiled coldly in her heart at Han Yunxi's unruffled expression. This woman just wouldn't cry unless she saw her own grave. It'll be too late for her to regret once she entered the passageway.
"Han Yunxi, if you lose, then keep your medical pouch here before you leave. Do you dare?" These were Chu Qingge's stakes. It had to be said that she still possessed some reason even after getting angry. Han Yunxi's poison skills were so mysterious that her medical pouch had to hide countless secrets. Even if there weren't any secrets, there had to be good things inside. For a doctor, their doctor's box was a valuable piece of property, just as how swordsmen treated their swords as treasures.
Han Yunxi was too surprised. This was the first time anyone had made a strike against her medical pouch. This was something Lady Tianxin had left her, and she found it while looking through her dowry. Everything inside belonged to herself. Chu Qingge really knew how to pick and choose.
Seeing Han Yunxi hesitate, Chu Qingge knew she'd made the right choice. She looked at her disdainfully and said, "Han Yunxi, you don't dare?"
But Han Yunxi was free and easy with her answer. "No problem, then what happens if you lose?" Before Chu Qingge could answer, she added, "How about you take off all your clothes and leave them here instead?"
Everyone grew stunned at her words, even Long Feiye. Chu Tianyin started a coughing fit because he'd actually choked. Han Yunxi was really gambling with big stakes! She'd done something so foul before anyone had won or lost, but made it impossible to counter her words.
Chu Qingge's face wavered between red and white shades as if she'd been stripped bare already. Angry and embarrassed, she finally cried out, "Han Yunxi, you're shameless!"
"So you don't dare?" Han Yunxi truly was shameless. She was even smiling as she asked.
Chu Qingge had no way to answer her question. She couldn't say yes, but she couldn't say no, either. Han Yunxi adjusted the shoulder strap of her medical pouch before hugging it in front of her chest. She didn't say a word, but stood enjoying Chu Qingge's expressions. Her attitude made the ice beauty unable to keep her cool. She exclaimed in a huff, "That's how it'll be, then! Han Yunxi, just wait until you've lost! You better make sure to come back at least half-alive!"
Chu Qingge was about to explode from rage, but Han Yunxi simply refused to get angry. "Mm, I'll try my best."
As soon as Chu Tianyin started keeping time, Han Yunxi walked into the second passageway, while Chu Qingge stepped into the third, unwilling to be outdone. Though there were luminous-night pearls everywhere in these underground chambers, the passageways beyond the five doors were both deep and dark. Add that to the fact that both women were walking very quickly, and it wasn't long before their figures vanished into the darkness. Long Feiye and Aunt Ru waited by the entrance of the second passageway, while Duanmu Baiye and Chu Tianyin stood by the third. Neither groups spoke with each other, so it was very quiet.
"Ye'er, Han Yunxi, she...just what did she find out?" Aunt Ru couldn't help but ask. Long Feiye must have had a reason for letting her go.
Long Feiye actually had no idea, so he simply glanced at Aunt Ru without saying a word. Still, his gaze was enough to set Aunt Ru's mind at ease. She figured that as long as Long Feiye had gotten to the bottom of that woman, it shouldn't be a big problem.
Waiting for an hour was a rather long time. Long Feiye's attention was wholly focused on the area beyond the door, while Aunt Ru amused herself with inspecting Duanmu Baiye and Chu Tianyin. She really didn't understand how these two fellows had found this place. After all, she'd been searching for years without success. Could it be that Chu Qingge had found it? Duanmu Baiye had said she knew about poisons. But why would children of Western Zhou's Chu Clan need to study poisons in the first place? Had they come to unravel the secrets of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion? But it was impossible that they knew of its existence!
Meanwhile, Duanmu Baiye was focusing his sights inside the passageway as well. While Chu Tianyin was looking in the same direction, his thoughts were somewhere else entirely. He just couldn't figure out how Long Feiye and the rest had found this place as well. Had Han Yunxi brought them here? And who was that other woman by his side? What were their motives for coming here? While the people outside were filled with various suspicions, the women inside were in a different state altogether.
Chu Qingge was 120 percent vigilant as soon as she entered the passage. Her nerves were taut as she walked step by step into the passage, always alert for movement in her surroundings. Truly, she was acting cautiously with every step. She not only wanted to win, but score a beautiful victory.
Long Feiye, five years ago we had a chance encounter in Yan City. Do you still remember the girl standing next to Duanmu Yao then? Everyone was cheering for my archery skills then; everyone except you, who turned a blind eye.
Today, I won't allow you to ignore me anymore.
Chu Qingge held her bow in one hand and an arrow in the other as she sped up her steps. She'd already walked quite a ways without running into any dangers. This made her expectant for what laid ahead. Perhaps she'd finally gotten lucky and picked the right path. Mm, she was going to give it her all!
On the other side, Han Yunxi was walking deeper and deeper as well. She too, hadn't run into any dangers, but she didn't walk all the way to the end. As soon as she was sure the people by the door couldn't see her anymore, she immediately stilled her steps.
She had to call in reinforcements!
The first tunnel had a fire trap, so who knew what kind of trap was hidden here? She was forced to admit that even her escape speeds were slower than other people. Thinking up to here, she couldn't help but think of a certain white-robed man. Who knew when she'd meet him again and get the answer to all her questions? But soon enough, she recovered her wits. She was about to take Lil Thing out of her medical pouch when it beat her to it and scurried out to land on the ground.
Han Yunxi was delighted. "Lil Thing, are we starting to think the same way? Did you come out to help me?"
The reason she dared to go in was all because of this treasure. Lil Thing was the Poison Sect's poison beast, after all. Its protection was like a life-saving talisman for her, but it was inconvenient to take it out in the presence of so many other people. After double-checking to make sure no one had followed her in, Han Yunxi looked around to check that the space was safe before taking out the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. This bottle of poison had been pushed between her and Long Feiye multiple times before it ultimately ended up in her hands. The bet with Chu Qingge and its associated stakes were of secondary importance. She temporarily cast that all aside to focus on the most important thing: the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion.
If Chu Qingge knew what Han Yunxi was thinking, would she spit up blood? Most likely!
As soon as it saw the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, Lil Thing scurried up Han Yunxi's hand. Even if it wasn't allowed to eat this thing, smelling it a few times was good enough. Faced with the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, Han Yunxi's detox system was useless. The acrid odor in the air was also evenly distributed throughout, making it impossible for her to pick a specific direction to go to. She could only borrow this chance to ask Lil Thing for help. If the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion really had some connection with the Poison Clan, Lil Thing might know.
Han Yunxi didn't know how to communicate with Lil Thing, so she had it sniff the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion before miming exaggerated sniffing motions, signaling Lil Thing to pay attention to the acrid odor in the air.
Lil Thing cocked its head to the side and stared at her for a long time, but it still didn't understand what Han Yunxi meant. It stood up on its hind legs and imitated Han Yunxi's actions, lifting its chin to poke its nose in the air and sniff here and there. At this, Han Yunxi grew tense. Was it going to show her a show after all?
Indeed, it was a show, but Han Yunxi quickly discovered that this wasn't the play she was waiting for....