Chapter 153: Time's up, the winners and losers decided
In between all the chatter, everyone was already impatient for the show to start so they could watch Han Yunxi. Those who lost had to abide by the rules of the bet. Mu Liuyue's name had been completely smeared once she lost; who knew that Han Yunxi was so quick to follow in her wake!
This was the show of the year for the capital and wasn't to be missed! If news of it got out, it'd probably shake the entire capital! Of course, Princess Changping and Murong Wanru were expectant for the results too, but compared to that, they were more interested in seeing Han Yunxi get drunk.
Many people left their seats and drew closer so they could see clearly. More still sat together in groups of three or five to talk amongst themselves. Murong Wanru snuck up to Princess Changping and asked in a low voice, "Princess, you've prepared thoroughly?"
Princess Changping didn't move her gaze from Han Yunxi as an evil curve crept up her lips. Her voice was low and secretive as she replied. "Don't worry and just enjoy the show. Prepare yourself."
"Yes," Murong Wanru demurred before retreating to her own seat. No one noticed that she'd moved at all. Everyone was focused on the three tables covered with wine jugs. At this moment, Han Yunxi had finally finished her third jug and was lifting the fourth for a sip. Meanwhile, the North and South Lords were long on their seventh!
Princess Changping was thrilled, and "helpfully" announced their standings. "The North and South Lords have finished off six jugs each, while Qin Wangfei drank three!"
At her words, the North Lord raised his eyebrow and gave a flirtatious glance at Princess Changping. Of course, his movements didn't slow at all as he cast the seventh jug aside, where it shattered against the ground, devoid of wine.
The crowd cried out in surprise, finally affecting the South Lord and Han Yunxi. The South Lord grew anxious and simply stood up, using both hands to pour the seventh jug of wine down his throat, glugglugglug! When Li Muge was acting like this, he certainly looked much more manly than his usual sissy self. The North Lord smiled coldly before standing up in turn to grab the eighth jug, suavely raising the wine above him as he poured it down his throat. As for Han Yunxi, she remained sitting as she picked up her fourth jug with both hands and drank it down at the same speed as before.
The difference between victory and defeat had grown even more obvious.
Although the South Lord wasn't a large man, he was fierce competition. Still, everyone was more interested in Han Yunxi since her loss would be a bigger deal.
"Esteemed wangfei, you're already three to four jugs behind! Try harder!"
"Esteemed wangfei, don't lose face for us girls! Hurry, hurry!"
"Esteemed wangfei, you're really too slow. Why don't you admit defeat before you lose and harm your own body!"
There would always be people who liked to cast stones at a body after it landed in the well. They took turns shouting at Han Yunxi, hoping to distract her so she could lose even faster and more tragically! But Han Yunxi wasn't affected in the least and remained unmoved. Her movements neither slowed nor sped up, but remained the same as always!
Finally, she smashed her fourth jug. Either coincidentally or on purpose, Princess Changping spoke up at the same time.
"We're at the halfway point, there's only half a stick of incense still burning! The North Lord's finished nine jugs, the South Lord eight jugs, and Han..." Princess Changping was too excited and almost called Han Yunxi by her name. Luckily, she caught herself in time and said respectfully, "Qin Wangfei finished four!"
The competition was already half over, but Han Yunxi had only drank half as much as the others. She really was weak! The alcohol would be taking effect soon, so she could only drink less and less and this went on. How was she supposed to catch up?
She was certain to lose!
Just when everyone was expecting Han Yunxi to pick up her fifth jug, she calmly stood up. Her brief respite caught everyone's gaze and drew their attention to her face, which was white with a ruddy red from wine. Her gaze seemed slightly blurry, but the entire effect was offset by her white robes to make for an mesmerizing sight. More importantly, what was the matter with her?
Why did she stop? Was she not continuing? Drunk? Or ready to admit defeat?
While Han Yunxi was getting her footing, the entire scene fell silent. No matter what this woman was up to, she was sure to lose. The moment that everyone had been anticipating was nigh!
But! Han Yunxi only smiled lightly before lifting a wine jug with both hands as she threw back her head, allowing the liquid to pass her lips. She quickly rotated the jug to release a torrent of wine down her throat.
Heavens, the speed of her drinking was even faster than the North and South Lords. Han Yunxi never shut her mouth, but kept gulping down the alcohol.
How could this be?
Before long, one jughad been completely finished. Han Yunxi tossed it to the ground and grabbed her sixth, using the same method to rotate the jug and pour wine down her throat. The opening of the jug was very small, but this made the wine flow like a faucet turned on high, allowing the liquid to go smoothly down her throat.
Han Yunxi opened her mouth wine and drank, drank, drank!
With a shatter, the sixth jug broke as she reached for the seventh.
At the same time, the North and South Lords had met with a roadblock and weren't aware of what had happened at all. Their speeds had slowed significantly and the South Lord had even paused to adjust himself before forcing down a mouthful of wine. Right now, the North Lord was on his ninth jug, the South Lord on his eighth, and Han Yunxi...
Heavens, Han Yunxi had already finished her seventh jug and was on her eighth!
Just exactly what had happened? The crowd widened their eyes to stare at her, as if Han Yunxi had switched with someone else entirely. Actually, all she did was use a clever little trick using the innate laws of physics. If you gorged yourself on wine from the start, you'd definitely stretch your stomach to the limit. No matter how strong the alcohol was, your stomach would give out before anything else first. As soon as it did, you won't be able to drink any more no matter how good your alcohol tolerance was.
Because of that, she chose a suitable speed to start off so her stomach could adjust to the volume and gradually expand itself in preparation for later on. Once her stomach had expanded to take in a vast amount of liquid, she stood up and rotated the wine jugs to fill herself up with wine. Don't overlook her rotation method. Not only did it increase the speed of wine flowing out, it also worked with the same reasoning as a toilet flush to form a whirlpool effect, thus creating a most efficient system to down her wine.
Han Yunxi's eighth jug shattered heavily against the ground, its sound alerting the North and South Lords. They'd both forgotten about Han Yunxi and had no idea how many jugs she'd finished. As far as they knew, this woman had shattered quite a few jugs in succession.
Within the crowd, someone shouted, "Esteemed wangfei's finished her eighth jug!"
Her eighth jug?!
Heavens, the two lords were frightened to the point that their faces turned white. How could this be possible?
"For sure?" the North Lord asked Princess Changping.
Princess Changping had been keeping count the whole time. Though she couldn't believe it herself, she still nodded her head. "For sure."
Now the two lords were really anxious. Both of them threw their heads back to keep drinking, but it was already too late. Their stomachs were bloated to the point of bursting, making it impossible to take in any more liquid. A single forced swallow was enough to make them gag and spit it back up. The North Lord was in a slightly better state, only staggering drunkenly, but the South Lord couldn't handle his gag reflex and sprawled aside, vomiting uncontrollably as his body lay paralyzed.
The South Lord was out! He lost!
Even then, the North Lord was afraid to immediately start drinking again. He could only watch wide-eyed as Han Yunxi raised her ninth jug above her head and smoothly gulped it down. Actually, both the North and South Lords were old hands at drinking, so of course they knew their stomachs needed time to adjust for massive volumes of liquid. But when pit against a time limit, they'd disregarded that since it wouldn't affect too many things. The winner or loser might even be decided with a few sips of wine by the end, so it was important to race for their lives from the very start.
They thought that Han Yunxi would be out by the time she polished off three jugs, but who knew that this woman really had hidden depths?! Not only that, she was so familiar with how drinking logic worked. Her method of downing wine far surpassed theirs!
The wine flowed unceasingly from the jug into Han Yunxi's mouth as she stood in place, head lifted to drink to her heart's content. Although she was female, she still radiated the natural and unrestrained aura of a wine immortal imbibing drink. It was an otherworldly feeling that entranced her onlookers.
When Han Yunxi had smashed her ninth jug, the hazy and drunk North Lord suddenly recovered his senses. He glanced at the incense and saw that it had almost burnt to the end. Then he rubbed at his stomach and belched. Though the alcohol had started taking effect to make him drunk, he was still aware of what was going on. Seeing Han Yunxi reach for her tenth jug, he sluggishly grabbed for a jug as well. But instead of the half-finished ninth jug he was drinking before, this was a whole new jug. The people on the side were about to remind him, but the North Lord only shouted, "Drink!"
Even so, his hands rested on the wine jug without moving.
Seeing this, Han Yunxi gave out a breath of relief! She had the tenth jug in her hands as well, but hadn't started drinking it. Actually, even with her expanded stomach, she couldn't drink much more than the North or South Lords. Right now, she very much felt like throwing up, but she forced herself to hold back. Moreover, the alcohol had started rushing to her head as soon as she stopped. Her head was already starting to feel dizzy, making it hard to stand straight, but she clenched her teeth and forced herself to look alert and normal. She feigned disdain as she looked at the North Lord, as if waiting for him to continue.
Seeing this, the crowd didn't notice anything out of the ordinary in Han Yunxi. Only she could sense the churning seas inside her stomach. She told her herself, hold on, hold on. Again, keep holding on!
The stick of incense was almost about to burn out, and she'd drank half a jug more than the North Lord. As long as the time was up, she'd win! But suddenly, the North Lord gave aholler and lifted his jug to drink! Han Yunxi's heart leapt up as she prepared to do the same, but her competitor had only drank two mouthfuls before he smashed his jug down. With his head lifted to the skies, he took a breath of air. Then he lowered his head and immediately vomited, reduced to a state not much different than the South Lord. At least his expression looked better than the South Lord's, since now the alcohol had completely taken effect. He was still short of passing out completely.
The North Lord had lost as well!
Right now, Han Yunxi was the last one standing with a narrow pass. A few moments later, the incense burned to the end, signifying the conclusion of the contest!