Chapter 183: Mockery finally fails
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had disappeared for six days. Gu Qishao had searched the entire Medicine City without finding a single clue. Just when he was about to lose faith in Long Feiye's promise, Long Feiye and Han Yunxi finally showed up. The two of them entered their room and was about to shut the door when Gu Qishao appeared out of thin air to rest his hand against the frame, narrowing his seductive eyes with a cold smile. An icy, evil aura emanated dangerously from his body.
Han Yunxi loosened up her shoulders before magnanimously inviting him inside. Gu Qishao didn't censure her, but actually showed a brilliant smile. Han Yunxi tugged her lips into the semblance of a grin. Then, Gu Qishao looked towards Long Feiye as his lips instantly turned mocking. "Your Highness Duke of Qin took six days to gather information. I trust that you've found out quite a few secrets?"
Long Feiye ignored him as he brewed himself some tea, even pouring Han Yunxi a cup as a sign that she should join him. Han Yunxi was about to move when Gu Qishao stole her spot and carelessly picked up the teacup, downing its contents in one gulp. "I heard the epidemic at Tianning's capital is more or less under control. Your Highness Duke of Qin still hasn't honored your promise, so this gentleman's ready to calculate interest."
Long Feiye sat in his lofty seat, not saying a word or even sparing Gu Qishao a glance. This time, Gu Qishao fell silent as well, the laughter in his eyes gradually fading into something dangerous. Silence fell upon the room as the atmosphere turned more and more abnormal. Han Yunxi watched them from the side, not daring to make a sound.
Long Feiye wasn't a man who didn't keep his promises, but Han Yunxi was puzzled as to why he wasn't paying the other man any attention. Finally, Gu Qishao slowly stood up, his cold smile carrying a hint of killer intent. However, this was the moment Chu Xifeng chose to enter the room.
"Your Highness, the item you wanted has been delivered." In his hands was a rectangular brocade box. At first glance, it was obvious that it contained something precious. Han Yunxi drew close doubtfully to sit down by Long Feiye's side.
"Open it and let him inspect the goods," Long Feiye said mildly.
Was it possible that this was...
Han Yunxi was flabbergasted. Gu Qishao narrowed his eyes, face filled with suspicion as he stared fixedly at the brocade box. Chu Xifeng placed it on the table and slowly opened the lid, revealing a Herbal Tea Tree sapling inside. There were still traces of dirt on the roots, while the branches bore young green leaves.
"This...is the Herbal Tea Tree!" Han Yunxi was pleasantly surprised as she gave Long Feiye an admiring glance. Gu Qishao had been foolishly waiting here the whole time while Long Feiye had long obtained the item he wanted. Somehow, he'd gone to the Mu family without alerting a soul.
Finally, Long Feiye looked at Gu Qishao directly and said coldly, "Inspect it."
Gu Qishao didn't express his surprise, but the shock in his eyes was impossible to hide. Without checking the goods, he could tell at a glance that this was the real thing. Beyond a doubt! It was just...how did Long Feiye obtain such an item? After all, this thing didn't actually belong to the Mu family, but the Xie family!
He'd lied and said it was from the Mu Clan so as to trap the other man. The reason he'd picked the 'Herbal Tea Tree' was because few knew of its existence. How could Long Feiye know it came from the Xie family? Moreover, he'd managed to steal it without anyone the wiser. These few days, the Xie family hadn't raised any fuss about losing their things.
To put it another way, Long Feiye knew about his scheme?
"Have you finished inspecting?" Long Feiye was a little impatient.
"Yes, this is it. Your Highness Duke of Qin is quite fast, quite capable!" Gu Qishao wasn't stingy with his praise.
But Long Feiye only said, "Then take it and leave. We won't send you off."
An icy aura swept past Gu Qishao's eyes at these words. Undoubtedly, he'd lost. Long Feiye might disdain him, but he was a man who could play and afford to lose. His smile turned even more brilliant as he made a stylish bow. "Then I won't be polite. Many thanks!" So speaking, he took the box and prepare to leave.
Everything looked normal on the surface, but it was here that Han Yunxi finally couldn't take it and burst out in a guffaw. Although it was just a snort of laughter, her reaction was far more effective as a taunt than Long Feiye's icy face. The key point was that Gu Qishao discovered he'd lost face in front of Han Yunxi. Finally, Gu Qishao had thoroughly failed. The smile that could keep on shining even if the sky was falling down turned stiff on his face. Up to the moment he strode out the door, his face was still rigid.
Long Feiye, you were ruthless this time!
Seeing Han Yunxi laugh, Long Feiye's lips curved up in a satisfied grin, though it was quick to disappear afterwards. "Chu Xifeng, prepare the carriage for the trip back to the capital," he ordered simply.
"Do we have to go back right now?" Han Yunxi asked hastily.
"You have business?" Long Feiye asked.
"Can we go back at night? There's still some medicinal ingredients I haven't purchased," They'd finally gotten a chance to come to Medicine City, so Han Yunxi wanted to shop around some more to replenish her reserves. Long Feiye didn't reply as he remained silent.
Seeing this, Han Yunxi was quick to add, "How about Your Highness go back first? Chenqie can return on her own."
But Long Feiye only said, "I'll take you to a place, come."
Han Yunxi had a fright when she saw the words "Medicinal Materials Association." She never thought Long Feiye would take her to a place like this. At the auction market, she'd heard about this place. All it sold were first-class rarities, but those without a membership couldn't even go inside. The expenses here weren't any lower than the auction place.
Han Yunxi only wanted to stroll around some minor markets and get some bargains because she didn't have much money. At the auction place, she'd already 'owed' Chu Xifeng once, though it was actually all Long Feiye's money. Fifty to sixty thousand gold wasn't a small sum, she knew very well.
Who would've thought that once they reached the entrance, Long Feiye would hand her a golden card? "This is the entrance pass. All trades done inside here are used with this card, so hold on to it. When the sun sets, I'll be waiting for you outside."
Was this the legendary mold of the powerful CEO?
If she didn't take it, would he forcibly stuff it into her hands?
As it turned out, Long Feiye had stuck the card in her hands before she had a chance to refuse. He left her with a repetition of his instructions. "I'll be waiting here after the sun sets, don't forget." Then he turned to leave. Han Yunxi didn't have any leeway to reject him, though she suddenly realized that he looked dashing even when it was just turning around!
Looking at the golden card in her hands, Han Yunxi didn't know whether to laugh or cry. However, since Long Feiye was so fervently generous, she wouldn't hold back. She could count this as forfeiting his medical fees this time. Taking along the precious golden card, her figure quickly disappeared into the Medicinal Materials Association.
Long Feiye could let go of a hundred cares after leaving Han Yunxi at the Association. Not just anyone could enter, but neither was its owner an ordinary person. As long as Han Yunxi didn't walk out of the Association, it would be responsible for ensuring her safety. Chu Xifeng assumed that His Highness Duke of Qin had other matters to take care of, but instead of going anywhere far, he went to a nearby teahouse. The Duke of Qin's time was as precious as time itself. His hands were full of things that needed to be done. Did this count as spending time with a woman? Whatever the case, Chu Xifeng didn't dare to speculate.
Long Feiye drank his tea as he played with a tiny, blue and white porcelain bottle in his hands. His cold and handsome face was covered by a layer of chilly gloominess.
Chu Xifeng's heart gave a small start at the sight of the little bottle. It'd been years since his master had taken it out. Inside this bottle was a type of poison with a pretty-sounding name called the "Perplexing Butterfly Illusion." But it was precisely this poison that had affected His Highness Duke of Qin's entire life, though he knew nothing about it. One year ago, he'd found something similar to this toxin in the poisons of the Northern Li spies. Although there were still differences present, it was his only clue at present. Otherwise, why would His Highness Duke of Qin pursue the issue of the Northern Li spies for so long? After all, the greater the threat that Northern Li presented to Tianning, the less effort Emperor Tianhui would use to counter the Duke of Qin.
Long Feiye looked at the little porcelain bottle, almost falling into a daze. A long time later, he glanced at Chu Xifeng and intoned, "Would she...know about such a poison?"
'She' referred undoubtedly to Han Yunxi.
A startled Chu Xifeng was quick to reply, "Your Highness, please reconsider!"
Han Yunxi was still a puzzle up to this day. Even if she really was the Han family's useless trash, her mother Lady Tianxin's origins were still unclear. Precisely because Han Yunxi's poison skills surpassed everyone else, something this important couldn't be left to her hands. Long Feiye looked at Chu Xifeng thoughtfully before quickly putting away the little bottle. He didn't say anything else. Chu Xifeng couldn't figure out his thoughts, but ultimately decided not to urge him further.
At sunset, Long Feiye went to meet Han Yunxi at the entrance to the Medicinal Materials Association. She really was a girl who could dissipate the family fortunes, having purchased a giant pile of medicinal ingredients to fill a horse cart. Chu Xifeng was dumbfounded by the sight, but Long Feiye didn't even blink. When Han Yunxi made to give him back the gold card, he only said, "You keep it for now. If your lordship needs medicinal ingredients in the future, I'll just find you."
"No problem, many thanks to Your Highness," Han Yunxi said frankly. She didn't like to argue matters of money with a man. On one side, Chu Xifeng was a little stunned. He mused that he'd never have to worry about His Highness never spending his large stores of money ever again.
This time, Han Yunxi had reaped the most benefits from their trip to Medicine City. Long Feiye didn't come for nothing either, so both of them were in good spirits. After eating dinner at a restaurant, they finally set out on the way home to the capital.
As for Gu Qishao, he'd long been besieged by members of the Xie family and was too busy to care about them.
The reason why Long Feiye knew the Herbal Tea Tree sapling was in the Xie family's hands was due to his own skills. The reason why the Xie family knew the Herbal Tea Tree sapling was in Gu Qishao's hands was obviously because Long Feiye had told them. In the end, Gu Qishao had suffered major losses, while Han Yunxi had gotten the greatest gains!
They reached the capital a few days later when the poison pestis was over. After a thorough clean-up, the entire capital city was much cleaner so that even the air seemed pure and fresh. Han Yunxi brought back two boxes of fine quality Red-Blood Sparrow Nests for Grand Concubine Yi, much to the latter's surprise. She had expected Han Yunxi to hold a grudge against her after the matter with Princess Rongle last time. Instead, Han Yunxi had the heart to bring her back gifts.
The anxiety in Grand Concubine Yi's heart suddenly disappeared as she held Han Yunxi's hand, asking with a smile, "Yunxi, your stomach...should take the chance to try harder as well. Give our Duke of Qin's estate a cause for celebrations some day."
Han Yunxi put on a false smile, truly feeling that Grand Concubine Yi had changed greatly. Still, she didn't know that the words Long Feiye said at the New Year's Eve banquet, and well as his actions rejecting the imperial decree afterwards, had spread as news around various circles. Rumors had it that he doted on his Qin Wangfei!
After going through a few cursory words, Han Yunxi left in a hurry. Meanwhile, Murong Wanru stared at her figure from a corner of the courtyard. She hadn't shown herself for ages, but her eyes were filled with loathing! A few days ago, Marquis Pingbei had came to set a date for the wedding. Although mufei had delayed the date, each day she remained unmarried was one more day where she couldn't show her face!
Even mufei was standing on the side of Han Yunxi now. Murong Wanru knew she had to find someone to lean on as support, but who could help her now?