Chapter 305: Three women on one stage
All of the guests had vacated the second floor of the restaurant, their tables and chairs lying haphazardly on the ground in a mess. Mu Linger was dressed in purple robes, a sword in her hand as she stood on top of a chair. Her eyebrows were slanted in anger, her phoenix eyes glaring with murderous intent upon her furious face.
Chu Qingge was sitting on a table, wearing ethereal white robes as she looked disdainfully at the other girl. She was like a solitary flower in love with its own fragrance, indulging in self-admiration.
"Apologize for me right now!" Mu Linger demanded again,
Chu Qingge simply gave a cold snort before darting a glance at a little beggar girl curled up in the corner. "Go ask that girl if she can afford an apology from me first."
The beggar girl in the corner was no more than seven to eight years old, with dishevelled hair and a dirty face. She had on ragged clothes and the mark of a bright red handprint on the side of her face, making for a ghastly sight. She crouched there staring at Chu Qingge and Mu Linger, her wide eyes filled with fear as she trembled. Because she'd accidentally touched Chu Qingge's dress while begging her for alms, she'd gotten a fierce slap on the face that sent her rolling into a corner. At that time, the big sister in purple robes was sitting at the next table over. The big sister had instantly stood up and kicked a chair at the white-robed woman before cursing at her.
"You actually made a move against a little child, you venomous woman!"
The white-robed woman had kicked the incoming chair aside until it crashed downstairs, before accusing the purple-robed girl of 'meddling in others' business.' Then they started to fight.
"Why can't she afford your apology? Who do you think you are? So what if your mother's from Western Zhou's Chu Clan? Even if you were a member of their imperial family, you'd still have to apologize!" Mu Linger was extremely infuriated, enough to swear up a storm. She hated adults who bullied children the most!
"Damned girl, clean out that mouth of yours!" Chu Qingge had lost her temper, too.
But Mu Linger simply stuck up her chin and said, word by word, "Your. Mother's. Slut!"
Chu Qingge had never heard other people curse since she was young, much less be cursed at herself. She was so angry that her entire person grew unwell. She hadn't brought her bow and arrows with her today, or else she'd shoot one straight through the other girl's mouth.
"Shut up! You vulgar brat! You have no sense of propriety at all!" she smacked the table and rose to her feet, glaring at Mu Linger before picking up the broken remains of a chair.
"What's propriety? Can you eat it?" Mu Linger was quick with her words. She might have been angry, but she wasn't an idiot. Of course she knew of Western Zhou's Chu Clan and their formidable archery skills. But since Chu Qingge didn't have her bow today, there was no guarantee that the woman could beat her.
"You!" Chu Qingge didn't even know what to say. She simply kicked a bunch of chairs at Mu Linger, who avoided them all in succession.
"What 'me?' I hate people like you the most! Talking about propriety with me? It's not like you have any, either. Do you?" Mu Linger retorted. Would a lady with propriety slap a little beggar just because she accidentally touched her dress? True propriety wasn't just all talk!
"This lady's propriety isn't something the likes of you..." Before Chu Qingge could finish, Mu Linger cut her off.
"Why don't you go pee in a corner and take a look at what comes out? You fake being all pure and noble, but your heart is filthy! The whores at the brothels are more likable than you! No matter how I look at you, all I see is someone disgusting!"
Chu Qingge was stunned into silence. Her ears felt dirty from hearing all the obscene curses, and she felt as if she'd go mad. She simply raised her hand and charged towards Mu Linger to slap her. "Slut! I'll make you wish you were dead!"
Without her bow, she and this girl were evenly matched in terms of strength. Despite this, she could still use things like poisons! If she didn't take care of this little slut today, then her name wasn't Chu Qingge!
"Tsk tsk, a wealthy young Miss with a sense of propriety still uses words like 'slut!' Do you even know what that word looks like? Just like you!" Mu Linger disdained to be ridiculed and attacked with her sword instead of evading.
"I'm going to tear your mouth to pieces!" Chu Qingge had thoroughly exploded as she struck out with her fists in succession. Her motive wasn't to hit Mu Linger, but to poison her. Each strike created air currents that scattered poison powder through the air.
But right at this moment, an acupuncture needle suddenly flew in from the right to pierce the air between them. Immediately, a delicate fragrance filled the air. Mu Linger and Chu Qingge stopped at the same time to look over, only to see that a woman had been sitting on one side since who knows how long.
"Han Yunxi!" Both of them chorused at the same time in surprise. Indeed, it was Han Yunxi. She'd told Zhao mama to head back first while she snuck up to spy on the pair. If Chu Qingge hadn't used poison, she wouldn't have interfered.
"You used poison?"
"You detoxified the poison!"
Mu Linger and Chu Qingge cried out simultaneously again. Mu Linger was a pharmacist, so she wasn't familiar with toxins, but she'd sensed something off about the scent in the air. Chu Qingge had consummate poison skills herself, so she knew with a whiff that Han Yunxi had sent an antidote in the air to dissolve her own poison's effects. At Chu Qingge's words, Mu Linger suddenly realized what had happened and hastily backed away with a curse.
"Chu Qingge, you're despicable!"
"Mu Linger, she was using an aphrodisiac, you know," Han Yunxi couldn't help but add oil to the fire.
"What?!" Mu Linger shrieked in alarm from disbelief.
"The dignified eldest young Miss of Western Zhou's Chu Clan actually carries around aphrodisiac?" Han Yunxi had a very shady smile on her face.
Chu Qingge was both embarrassed and enraged. "Han Yunxi, you shut up! Stop meddling in other people's business."
Han Yunxi stood up calmly and asked in a cold voice, "Who kicked that chair downstairs?"
Seeing her expression, Chu Qingge couldn't help but exclaim, "It's not like it hurt you!"
Han Yunxi had a pretty good idea of how things stood after that reply. "It frightened me. This wangfei has never taken kindly to scares."
Chu Qingge knew she was the weaker party since she'd gone out without her weapons in Tianning Country. Still, she refused to feel any fear and rebutted, "Then what do you want to do?"
Han Yunxi darted a glance at Mu Linger before calmly resuming her seat. "You two can continue first. When you're finished, I'll tell you."
"Then wait well!" Chu Qingge's words were full of hidden meaning. At this second, Mu Linger suddenly sneak attacked Chu Qingge with her sword. The latter didn't dodge in time and lost a portion of her sleeves as the blade rubbed her skin raw.
"You sneak attacked me!" Chu Qingge fumed.
"You're the one who sneak attacked me!" Mu Linger had thoroughly lost her temper because of the attempted aphrodisiac. Even though Chu Qingge could poison her again, she simply swept forward with her sword in succession, forcing Chu Qingge to stay on the defensive. All she could do in return was keep releasing poisons, scattering powders in the air with every stab she evaded.
The poison powders were both scentless and colorless. As Chu Qingge's movements increased, their potency grew in the air until a single whiff would be enough to poison the victim. As things stood now, Mu Linger was sure to lose, but Han Yunxi simply remained watching from the sidelines. She used her detox system to measure the concentration of poisons in the air. When they reached toxic levels, she immediately unleashed another needle to detoxify them. Mu Linger only released that Chu Qingge had used poisons again after sniffing the fragrant scent in the air. At the same time, Chu Qingge realized that Han Yunxi had ruined her plans once again!
Mu Linger glanced at Han Yunxi out of the corner of her eye, about to speak when Han Yunxi cut her off. "What are you looking at? Don't think I'm helping you! I'd never help you a second time after the first! I just think that other girl's unsightly."
After helping Mu Linger once, she'd gotten enmity for her kindness, so she'd never help her again. Naturally, Mu Linger understood Han Yunxi's words and gave a cold snort. She placed her to the back of her mind and continued to fight Chu Qingge.
Chu Qingge shot Han Yunxi a venomous glare. "Han Yunxi, this girl will have the honor of keeping your company until the very end!"
She had started studying poisons since she was in primary school, so she couldn't believe that she wouldn't best Han Yunxi. Han Yunxi likes to detoxify poisons, does she? Let's see if you can detoxify every single kind!
Soon enough, Chu Qingge unleashed a wealth of formidable poisons. Unfortunately, all of them were detoxified by Han Yunxi. Chu Qingge couldn't believe it, and stubbornly tried to keep on. In a moment of carelessness, she was stabbed in the shoulder by Mu Linger. As she was still recovering from her injuries at the poison grounds, this was just a wound on top of another wound. Chu Qingge pressed a hand to her shoulder and finally stopped.
"Apologize!" Mu Linger insisted.
How could someone as prideful as Chu Qingge ever lower her head? She didn't spare Mu Linger another glance, but turned to leave. Mu Linger blocked her way with her sword and said coldly to the little beggar girl, "You, come here!"
Although the little beggar girl knew that Mu Linger was doing this for her sake, she didn't dare to move.
"What are you dawdling for? Get over here!" Mu Linger was still in a bad mood, so her temper was terrible as well. The frightened little beggar girl ran to hide behind Han Yunxi instead.
Mu Linger grew even more infuriated. "What are you scared of? Come here!"
Chu Qingge took this chance to shove Mu Linger aside. "She's not even grateful to you. That's what comes of meddling in other people's business! Move aside!"
"It's only because..." Mu Linger suddenly stiffened in place as she felt her entire body turn numb. She couldn't move an inch. Chu Qingge glanced at Han Yunxi before snorting contemptuously. Without a doubt, her poison had succeeded.
She strutted away with a swagger, but Han Yunxi suddenly used her Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain to shoot a needle from her sleeves, the weapon darting past Chu Qingge's nostrils before it buried itself in the opposite wall. Alarmed, Chu Qingge touched her nose to make sure it was still there before she felt relieved. She never expected Han Yunxi's needles could be so quick and accurate.
"Heheh, it looks like Eldest Young Miss Chu is just like this wangfei, and doesn't take well to scares," Han Yunxi wore an elegant, stately smile.
Chu Qingge didn't move. It wasn't that she didn't, but because she couldn't. She had been poisoned as well. Despite this, she didn't know what kind of poison it was. In other words, she couldn't detoxify it!
Han Yunxi walked over leisurely and grabbed a corner of Chu Qingge's robes with amusement. Smiling, she remarked, "If this wangfei remembers correctly, Eldest Young Miss Chu still owes this wangfei a debt, correct?"
Last time at the poison grounds, they made a bet. If Chu Qingge lost, she was supposed to leave all her clothes behind. Of course Chu Qingge remembered, so she started to shriek as soon as Han Yunxi begin to undo her waistband. "Han Yunxi, stop it! Hold it right there!"
Han Yunxi ignored her and slowly pulled aside the waistband. Even Mu Linger felt trepidation at the sight. After all, this was a restaurant! Because of all the noisy commotion from before, no one had dared to draw near, but there was probably a sizable crowd below the building by now.
At this rate, would Chu Qingge be able to keep her clothes on?