Chapter 277: I'll walk in the front with you
Aunt Ru's weapons arrived at the same time she did!
Whoosh! A five-pointed flying dart flew in from behind them to bury itself in the tree branch before them. Han Yunxi subconsciously looked over, but didn't get a clear view before the weapon stuck in the tree actually recoiled to fly towards her face. Long Feiye had expected this, but not at such insane speeds. Because he had no time to dodge, he immediately raised his hand to block the weapon for Han Yunxi.
The blades immediately sank into his skin. Unlike its brush with the tree, this time the weapon entered completely into his flesh. Even a rebounded weapon had this sort of power behind it, how ruthless!
The pain had to be excruciating!
Han Yunxi's eyebrows furrowed, but Long Feiye's expression didn't change at all. He stopped hesitating and plunged straight into the dense forest. But as soon as he did, Aunt Ru shouted, "Ye'er, get out!"
She'd spent all these years secretly exploring all of Lotus Mountain's main peak, but she'd never dared to enter the forest here. If she hadn't caught word that Ye'er was coming, she wouldn't have come this time either. This forest was like a maze. If the person who entered couldn't get out by nightfall, then they'd be eaten alive by the swarm of creatures that came out to feed in the dark.
"Ye'er, get out! Get out this instant!"
"Ye'er, if there's anything, we can talk it over! Be sensible!"
Aunt Ru shouted and shouted, but Long Feiye kept going farther and farther in until his figure grew hazy. Frightened, Aunt Ru immediately ran to catch up. If she dawdled any longer, she probably wouldn't be able to find him anymore. As soon as she entered, she stopped using any hidden weapons. Long Feiye, too, slowed down his steps.
Once she caught up, Aunt Ru forcefully grabbed Long Feiye by the hand. "Right now we can still tell the way back. Hurry up and get out of here with me."
"Since we've come, we might as well search around," Long Feiye said mildly.
"Ye'er, you've gone insane! There's only six more hours before it gets dark," Aunt Ru raged. Though she came by the mountain often, she'd yet to find a way to deal with the creatures of the night. She wouldn't take any hapless risks. Instead of being tough, cold, and unyielding, Aunt Ru was more worried and impatient now. Still, Long Feiye only said, "If Aunt Ru is afraid, you can leave first."
For a second, Aunt Ru could only gape at him. Over the last decade or so, Ye'er had always treated her coldly, but he'd never speak so presumptuously to her face. She rushed to Long Feiye's side and gave a resentful glare to the woman he was protecting in his embrace. Coldly, she reminded him, "Feiye, your life isn't something to be tossed aside so casually! Leave with me this instant!"
Han Yunxi didn't know what Aunt Ru's words meant, but she could feel that Long Feiye's hand had turned stiff for awhile. After a long while, Long Feiye still didn't speak, but kept protecting Han Yunxi as he turned around. Only then did Aunt Ru exhale a breath. "Let's go."
But it was then that the silent Han Yunxi spoke up. "You guys are looking for strong corrosive plants, right?"
Aunt Ru ignored her, but Long Feiye stopped. "What did you find out?"
"It's just around here," Han Yunxi was very certain, because she'd been silently searching for it the entire time. Nearby, the corrosive properties of the plants were very strong. Though she couldn't tell which plant it was, she could sense the deeply hidden poisons within.
"You're certain?" Long Feiye rejoiced. Heaven knows how much he wanted to solve the mystery of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion.
"Just around here?" Aunt Ru looked contemptuous.
Besides the giant, straight trees around them, there weren't any poison grasses about. Moreover, these were all toxic birch trees with no corrosive properties. Han Yunxi was simply speaking nonsense!
When Han Yunxi had married into the Duke of Qin's estate, she was still in seclusion. It was only a few days ago that she left her seclusion to take a trip to the Duke of Qin's estate and found out everything that had happened. She'd assumed that Grand Concubine Yi would torment that Han Clan's useless trash to death, but the woman had actually replaced Grand Concubine Yi to control the Duke of Qin's estate. Even more unbelievable was the fact that she could treat poisons and had saved quite a few people.
From Chu Xifeng, she learned that Ye'er wanted to go to the main peak of Lotus Mountain, so she immediately went to stop him. As soon as she met Tang Li, she tied him up and interrogated him until she found out that Han Yunxi's poison skills were only so-so at best. She wasn't of much help to Long Feiye and even had unclear relationships with other men. Despite this, Ye'er had handed over the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion to her hands! Women like this were typically average types who were full of tricks. Heaven knows how she'd gotten involved with Ye'er. When she first arrived, she'd even seen Long Feiye and Han Yunxi in a tussle and thought her eyes had problems. When had Ye'er ever fooled around with anyone, or even laughed or joked before?
Heaven knows what kind of methods Han Yunxi had used to fool his eyes! A woman like her would only delay a man's plans!
"It's just nearby. I'll look around, it won't take too long," Han Yunxi said seriously. Long Feiye's words were right. Since they'd come anyways, they shouldn't leave empty-handed.
Aunt Ru's face was somber. "Search for it yourself if you want. I don't have time to pay attention to you. Ye'er, come with me!"
Han Yunxi lost her temper at these words. "As if I'm the one who wants to search! The Perplexing Butterfly Illusion isn't even mine! You think I have nothing better to do?"
"You're the one who said you were going to look around just then. Who told you to search?" Aunt Ru immediately countered.
Han Yunxi gave a start. Truthfully speaking, no one had told her to look. Maybe she wasn't thinking clearly because she was angry. But Long Feiye then spoke up and said, "I told her to."
Han Yunxi's heart gave a tremor as she looked over, only to see Long Feiye's gaze fixated her way. Quickly, she averted her eyes. Aunt Ru was furious and cried, "There's no way it could be nearby. Ye'er, are you going to believe Aunt Ru, or her?"
Long Feiye avoided Aunt Ru's wrathful look and said, "Han Yunxi, why aren't you searching yet?"
Without a doubt, he'd made his choice. Aunt Ru was severely disappointed. She'd taught him for over a decade, but she couldn't be compared to a woman he'd known for less than a year. She took a deep breath and calmed herself down. "Han Yunxi, I'll give you enough time to brew a cup of tea." No matter what, she had to stay cool so she could argue for leaving this forest sooner.
But Han Yunxi simply said, "No need, I've already found it."
Aunt Ru creased her eyebrows. She didn't trust Han Yunxi, but she wouldn't believe that the woman was capable of bragging to such an extent! In the end, she chose to stay silent.
"Where is it?" Long Feiye trusted her implicitly. Han Yunxi looked over and their eyes met, before both of them looked away. She didn't speak, but went to her right with Long Feiye and Aunt Ru hurrying to follow. When she stopped by the foot of a large tree, her gaze rested on its trunk.
"Where is it?" This was the first time that Aunt Ru had lost her cool so easily.
"Cut open that tree trunk and take a look," Han Yunxi said seriously.
"This is a poison birch," Aunt Ru reminded them immediately. After Feiye's mother died, she became the foremost expert on poisons within the Tang Clan.
"I know. Long Feiye, hurry and cut the trunk for a look. Be careful," Han Yunxi said as she backed away.
At this moment, Lil Thing secretly poked its head out of the medical pouch. When it saw Long Feiye unsheathing his sword and pointing it at the tree trunk, it hastily ducked back inside in fear. How does this sword-wielding guy know the giant tree trunk is hiding a secret passage? Does he know the passage leads to a underground poison grounds too?
The expanse of the poison grounds were divided between above and underground. Poison grasses grew aboveground, while poison water used to nurture the entire area existed underground. As soon as the poison water was ruined, it'd mark the end of the entire expanse of poisons! Lil Thing wanted to crawl out and bite that fellow's hand so he'd never be able to use a sword again! But still, it was sacred. It didn't know why, but it instinctively feared the man.
Mm, it'll draw a little circle and curse him instead!
Just as Lil Thing was drawing its circle, Long Feiye had already cleaved the giant trunk. Only then did he discover the inside was hollow. An acrid odor wafted out from inside. Long Feiye was about to peek inside the hollow tree when Aunt Ru hastened to stop him. "Ye'er, be careful of poison!"
But Han Yunxi simply said, "This smell isn't poisonous, don't worry."
Caught in an awkward situation, Aunt Ru didn't know what to say and ended up coughing lightly a few times. Though she hadn't seen any corrosive plants yet, the scene before them now proved that Han Yunxi hadn't been lying. Although she disliked how much Long Feiye trusted Han Yunxi, Aunt Ru wasn't someone who deliberately made trouble. Neither was she some simple-minded little girl. Very soon, she realized that Tang Li had tricked her. Just then, Han Yunxi had only used her eyes to find this trunk. She hadn't used any other methods, which meant her skills were quite formidable!
It looked like she needed to re-examine Han Yunxi.
Long Feiye quickly found the secret inside the trunk. "There's a secret passage leading downwards. It goes down very deep."
Han Yunxi and Aunt Ru looked over simultaneously. Aunt Ru was about to speak up when Han Yunxi said, "Let's go down!"
Those were exactly Aunt Ru's words as well. She'd searched for this place for years. Now that there was a clue, there was no sense in staying aboveground. She'd even placed the matter of the nightly creature migration to the back of her head. It was possible the area below this tree had exactly what she needed. She looked at Han Yunxi as her eyes flickered with admiration. She never expected this girl to have such guts, or the courage to risk dangers.
Very good, it looks like she isn't simply a tiger made out of paper.
Aunt Ru was the first to jump into the cavern, followed by Han Yunxi. She was rather excited. Even though this acrid scent had no poison, she could tell its smell was off. Perhaps it was only non-poisonous because it wasn't concentrated enough. Maybe she'd find a clue to crack the puzzle of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion down there.
A serious Han Yunxi said, "Later, I'll walk in the front. Everyone be careful!"
But Long Feiye didn't immediately follow her in. He looked at Han Yunxi and asked, "Han Yunxi, you're certain you want to come down with your lordship?"
She'd already jumped in, so what was the meaning behind his question? Before, she'd said she wouldn't come and wouldn't help. She'd even returned the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion to him. But now she'd come and help, and with such high spirits too. Han Yunxi's ears turned red as her heart flared with embarrassment and vexation. She dawdled awhile and was about to jump back out when Long Feiye jumped into the passageway instead.
"I'll walk in the front with you," he said simply.
Han Yunxi had lost her chance to refuse, because Long Feiye had already taken her hand. Aunt Ru walked behind them both, staring at their entwined fingers. A complicated look flickered past her eyes. She didn't understand why Tang Li had told lies to sully this woman.