Chapter 319: The world is bigger than you think
It was quiet so late at night, and even more so within the Duke of Qin's Hibiscus Courtyard. From a distance, one could see the light shining from Leisurely Cloud Pavilion and a figure sitting by one of its windows-Han Yunxi. Long Feiye stood watching for a long while from the covered walkway in the gardens. He seemed a bit hesitant, but ended up going to her quarters anyways. Han Yunxi had already spotted him before he entered her courtyard. She hurried down the stairs and ran to face him with a smile.
She'd been waiting for him ever since he left. She had planned to study the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion some more, but her heart was too flustered to calm down, especially when Zhao mama had mentioned that Tang Zijin had arrived. Tang Zijin was Long Feiye's uncle and the head of the Tang Clan. He probably stood on the same side as Aunt Ru. Truthfully speaking, Han Yunxi had no idea why the woman was so hostile to her. Even though Han Yunxi had never met Tang Zijin before, the fact that he was trying to force his son into a marriage made her think he wasn't all that great. Long Feiye probably had no idea that Han Yunxi had been waiting by the window for an entire night.
She was currently filled with delight, but he was as calm as ever. All he did was nod before walking into the study. Although he was always cold and chilly, Han Yunxi could sensed that he seemed to be in a bad mood.
She followed him inside and asked, "The Tang Clan...did anything happen?"
Long Feiye examined the various poison plants on her table as he replied, "Nothing."
"Oh..." Han Yunxi felt a little resentful. She was sure that something had happened, but he just wouldn't say.
Very soon, Long Feiye noticed the Poison Orchids that Han Yunxi had placed into a colored glaze bottle. These were the highly corrosive plants they'd plucked from the secret underground chambers of the poison grounds of the Poison Sect.
"Any progress with the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion?" he asked simply. It'd been some time since he left the poison in Han Yunxi's hands to figure out its composition. Han Yunxi had been very busy over the past few days, but she hadn't neglected this matter.
Poison could be divided into two types. One existed on its own, while the other was a composition of multiple poisons. Standalone poisons usually had one type of toxin. Many poisons that existed in Nature, such as poisonous plants, animals, or stones, etc. all fell under this category. Composition poisons were the results of combining multiple poisons together. Many man-made poisons fell under this category, and were completely new poisons maybe with a combination of other toxins. For example, there was Mu Qingwu's Ten-Thousand Snake Poison.
Even though composition poisons were made of multiple toxins, the finished product typically only caused one type of poisoning. Poison Orchids were an exception, because their existence straddled the divide between these two types of poisons. The detox system couldn't detect the Poison Orchids' toxicity, but it did find the multiple standalone poisons within the plant. Logically speaking, the Poison Orchid should be a composition poison, but records of it didn't exist in the detox system so its toxicity was unknown. Han Yunxi had divided up all the different poisons that made up the Poison Orchid before finding the same ingredients and merging them together to create a new poison. This created a record in the detox system. Despite this, she still continue figure out the toxicity of the Poison Orchid when she analyzed it a second time.
The detox system had very accurate skills when it came to analyzing poisons. It could even determine the percentage of each different poison present in the Poison Orchid and create new poisons from that makeup. Following that logic, the detox system should be able to figure out the Poison Orchid's toxicity, too! Han Yunxi didn't understand why that wasn't the case. She was even starting to wonder whether her detox system was having problems before she figured it out.
"What I did was extract each of the individual poisons within the Poison Orchid and combine them together in the same proportions. But the Poison Orchid is a plant that grew directly out of the ground, so its toxicity must contain some differences. That's why the poison I made doesn't match up with the Poison Orchid's toxin," Han Yunxi explained seriously. A non-professional might find themselves lost by the words, but Long Feiye understood immediately.
"In other words," he said, "The Poison Orchid is a new type hybrid created by crossbreeding other poison plants."
"Right! This should be a standalone poison plant!" Han Yunxi really felt that he was a smart guy! Crossbreeding plants was nothing new. Pill Fiend Valley's Gu Qi Sha was an expert in the field, though his main focus was medicinal, not poison, plants.
"Perhaps the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was grown as well," Long Feiye muttered to himself.
Han Yunxi still hadn't figured out the toxicity of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion. She had alway been strict with it came to the smallest details of poisons, so she said, "That's not necessarily true. Your Highness, the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion belongs to the Poison Sect, right?"
"Mm," Long Feiye nodded. "He who owns the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, owns the world."
When Han Yunxi had asked the same question in the past, Long Feiye had simply told her there was no need to know so much. She never expected him to offer information proactively. Han Yunxi felt a nameless sense of satisfaction, as if she'd taken another step closer to this man-enough to know a bit more about him. Of course, she never expected that to be part of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion's secret.
He who owns the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, owns the world. What does that mean?
"A single poison can decide the fate of the world?" Han Yunxi said uncertainly.
"That's what your lordship wants to know too. How can one poison determine the fate of the world?" Long Feiye had thought over the question for over a decade. He didn't want to believe it, but he'd gotten this in exchange for his mother's life. Those were the last things his mufei said to him before she took her own life.
"Ye'er, a single poison can decide the fate of the world. This is all that mufei can give you!"
"And the Beauty's Blood? What about that?" Han Yunxi asked earnestly. She'd waited this long both because she was worried about him and curious about the uses of Beauty's Blood.
Despite Aunt Ru's reminders and Tang Zijin's concerns, Long Feiye didn't hide the answer from Han Yunxi. "The use of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion is to be mixed with Beauty's Blood."
Han Yunxi knew it. The Beauty's Blood was related to the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion!
"Use? What else can you use Perplexing Butterfly Illusion for?" Han Yunxi asked. Aren't poisons just for poisoning?
Long Feiye had an inkling that his mother knew, but she'd never told him. He looked wordlessly at Han Yunxi before heading towards the table, his eyes sweeping over the poisons lying on its surface while he was lost in thought.
"Your Highness, do we have to have the Beauty's Blood?" What Han Yunxi really meant was, Do we have to use Perplexing Butterfly Illusion to control the world?
Long Feiye seemed to understand what she was implying as his eyes took on a determined glint. "Han Yunxi, the world...is bigger than you think."
He didn't just want Tianning, or the three nations, but all of Cloud Realm Continent!
Han Yunxi was slightly stunned. She'd always known that Long Feiye wasn't destined to be some fish in a pond, but she never realized he had such wild ambitions. Long Feiye wasn't part of Tianning's imperial clan, but he had never challenged Emperor Tianhui either despite the power in his hands. Han Yunxi assumes that he just wasn't interested. As it turned out, he simply wanted to use Tianning as a stepping stone.
"What about the world under the Great Qin Empire?" Han Yunxi suddenly recalled Cloud Realm Continent at the height of its might and splendor.
Long Feiye didn't answer, but stopped to say, "Help prescribe poisons for Baili Minxiang and get the Beauty's Blood quickly. It might aid you with the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion."
"Your Highness, it would originally take an entire lifetime to cultivate Beauty's Blood. If we shorten the timespan, Baili Mingxiang would suffer even more," Han Yunxi reminded earnestly. If Baili Mingxiang went by her usual rate of one new poison every three months, it'd really take an entire lifetime to reach all 300.
"No one can wait out an entire lifetime," Long Feiye replied.
"It's too cruel," Han Yunxi was a woman and a doctor. She couldn't bear to do it.
"Enduring that for an entire lifetime is what's truly cruel," Long Feiye's words were ice-cold.
Han Yunxi fell silent. She seemed to glimpse his icy heart from his frigid profile, and felt her heart shudder. Just how cold is his heart?
Has he ever hesitated for a subordinate as bright and devoted as Baili Mingxiang?
But he was right. It'd be far crueler for the girl to suffer a lifetime.
"Remember to bring along your poisons when you visit General Baili's estate again," Long Feiye instructed mildly as he turned to leave. Han Yunxi was still lost in her thoughts. Unexpectedly, Zhao mama chose then to appear at the study entrance and block Long Feiye's exit.
"Your Highness, stay awhile. This old servant knew you were coming and specially prepared your favorite snow lotus seed soup." Zhao mama was smiling so broadly that her wrinkles had nearly swallowed her up eyes. Heaven knows what she was so happy about, cooking and smiling in the kitchens the entire night.
"Your Highness, it's probably been years since you ate this. Quickly, try some and see whether this old servant's skills declined."
Long Feiye didn't even look at the soup, but went back and sat down. Delighted, Zhao mama hastily offered up two bowls of snow lotus seed soup. "Esteemed wangfei, hurry and have a taste. This was His Highness's favorite dish when he was young."
Han Yunxi ladled up a spoonful and discovered that the snow lotus had been cooked into the consistency of gel, glittering and translucent. The lotus seeds had all split open to reveal the tender green hue inside, and were a perfect match for the thickness of the soup. The sight was already enough to make Han Yunxi's mouth water. Anything Long Feiye liked had to be top of the class.
Long Feiye had already started, one hand holding the bowl while the other worked his spoon. He was quiet as he ate, with hooded eyes and elegant movements accompany each spoonful. This was the first time Han Yunxi knew that Long Feiye even had a favorite anything. She couldn't wait to find out what it tasted like, but she ended up spitting it out at the first mouthful!
What kind of flavor is that?!
Isn't it a little too plain?!
Long Feiye lifted his head and creased his eyebrows. Zhao mama rushed over and cried, "Wangfei, why did you choke?"
Han Yunxi was actually fine until she tried to answer Zhao mama and choked for real on the remnants of soup in her throat.
"Cough...cough cough," she suddenly fell into a coughing fit that took all her breath away.
Alarmed, Long Feiye sprang to his feet and started patting her on the back. Zhao mama was planning to help herself until she saw him make his move, and withdrew her hands so quickly that they might've been on fire. Her voice took on a serious edge.
"Your Highness, wangfei is choking. Patting her back won't do any good, you have to hit her from the front!"