Chapter 324: Let this fellow have a kick
At Pill Fiend Valley, the scent of medicinal plants was still as refreshing as ever. The space in front of its gates was, as always, filled with a giant crowd of people. In their midst, Long Feiye stood alone, dressed in black robes. A sword hung from his waist while his hands were clasped behind his back. His Excellency Pill Fiend, Gu Qi Sha, sat on the threshold of the gates. He was dressed in wide, fluttering black robes from head to toe that revealed nothing but a pair of long, narrow eyes.
The two of them faced each other, one standing, one sitting. Long Feiye's face was as cold as ice, his entire form emanating a powerful, sovereignly air so strong that no one dared to approach him. Gu Qi Sha, in comparison, looked sluggish and lazy, almost carelessly casual. He seemed to be sunning himself at his steps. If not for his strange black robes, no one would have spared him a second glance.
"Ten moves. If your lordship loses, you can offer any terms you'd like. If your lordship wins, hand over the Serpent Fruit," Long Feiye said icily.
Gu Qi Sha gave an eerie cackle and uncovered one of his long, emaciated fingers from the inside of his robes. He waved it lightly in the air before saying, "I don't want to play."
Long Feiye gave him a scornful stare. "Gu Qi Sha, your lordship's already here. What's the meaning of this?"
'Come at me whenever' were Gu Qi Sha's own words. Could it be that he was going back on them now?
"Your Highness Duke of Qin, I've gotten old. I don't have the strength to fight!" Gu Qi Sha feigned a sigh, but it sounded as eerie as ever. Anyone who heard him felt uncomfortable from the sound.
Because the Serpent Fruit was in Gu Qi Sha's hands, Long Feiye could only suppress his impatience and ask, "Then what do you want to do?"
Gu Qi Sha suddenly started cackling, as if very happy. "Nothing much. If you let a fellow like me kick you once, I'll hand over the Serpent Fruit." As he spoke, he stood up and exposed his leg, his movements even more coquettish than a woman doing the same thing. His leg had fine proportions, and he was even wearing extremely rare and precious gold-embroidered ankle boots. It was impossible to tell whether the skin inside his trousers was in the same decrepit state as his hands, but the skeletal structure didn't quite match the physique of an old man.
Long Feiye fixated him with a cold stare as his aura turned murderous. "And suppose your lordship isn't willing?"
Gu Qi Sha was still cackling. "Then scram!"
Long Feiye's icy eyes instantly morphed into killing intent. He unsheathed his sword and slashed straight at Gu Qi Sha, who immediately flew into the skies. Beneath his feet, the strength of Long Feiye's sword qi had already split his house into two.
Gu Qi Sha glanced at the remains and raged, "Long Feiye, you dare!"
"You have to pay the price for fooling around with your lordship." Long Feiye's awe-inspiring air was enough to frighten everything into submission. He followed Gu Qi Sha into the air and closed their distance.
Again, Gu Qi Sha made to avoid him. He raised the Serpent Fruit in his sleeve above his head. "Long Feiye, if you take another step, I promise I'll destroy the Serpent Fruit!" At this, Long Feiye stopped to land on the roof. He hadn't even spoken when Gu Qi Sha added, "Your Highness Duke of Qin's sword skills come from the Sect Leader of your sword sect. Indeed, they're formidable."
"You're still wasting words?" Long Feiye's patience had a limit.
"No, this old man's saying some very important words!" Gu Qi Sha was extremely serious. "Your Highness Duke of Qin, you're the closed-door disciple of your sword sect's leader. Why find a man like me to duel when I only know a handful of skills? Isn't that a little too shameless?"
At his words, the temperature in the courtyard plummeted. On one side, Chu Xifeng shivered involuntarily while he hid and watched. Even though he was His Highness Duke of Qin's personal bodyguard, he still wanted to tell that Gu Qi Sha to run for his life!
"Is that so?" Long Feiye's frigid voice had taken on an evil tinge. A dark and chilly, yet destructively alluring grin curved onto his lips. "Then your lordship will see just how old you are first!"
After that, he released his sword qi!
The edge of the blade reflected light into Gu Qi Sha's eyes, causing the chuckling Pill Fiend to grow guarded. Of course he had no way to defeat Long Feiye. Otherwise, he would have challenged the man to a duel a long time ago! Now he turned to flee.
Long Feiye simply stood in place with a cold stare. His pupils were wretchedly dark. Even when Gu Qi Sha was quite some distance away, he still didn't fret. He lifted his sword with two hands, narrowed his eyes, and suddenly slashed downwards. The force of his swipe erupted as a sweep of sword qi with enough strength to cleave the mountains and split the seas. It headed straight for Gu Qi Sha and hit him squarely. His wide black robes were torn apart, revealing a set of dark clothing and his emaciated hands beneath them.
Gu Qi Sha sprawled on the ground, his face not visible. Chu Xifeng was getting impatient, and even rushed forward to check Gu Qi Sha's face, but Long Feiye was calm as always. With a flicker of movement, he appeared in front of Gu Qi Sha before Chu Xifeng reached him. He rested the edge of his sword against the man's back and said, "Elderly sir, do you need someone to help you up?"
Gu Qi Sha didn't move a muscle. Long Feiye's lips curved up into a cold smile as he prepared to stab him, but the wily old man suddenly turned on his back, scattering a cloud of black powder at the same time. Naturally, Long Feiye expected something like this. He backed away, only to see Gu Qi Sha wearing his black facemask like before, revealing nothing but his eyes.
"No need!" the Pill Fiend was even laughing as he turned to escape. Long Feiye was about to give chase when his vision momentarily blurred, then turned indistinct. He'd clearly avoided the black powder, so why had this happened? Could this be poison? Yet still, hadn't he avoided it all?
"Chu Xifeng, chase him!" Long Feiye ordered coldly.
But Gu Qi Sha simply shouted from a distance, "Your Highness Duke of Qin, if you don't treat the poison within a day, this old man can guarantee that you'll turn blind for good!"
Chu Xifeng was stunned. "He knows the poison arts!" He too, had clearly see Long Feiye dodge the black powder, but the man had still gotten poisoned. Gu Qi Sha's poison skills had to be formidable. That Pill Fiend was a man who'd left the medical academy, yet he still knew about the poison arts. If the medical academy knew, they'd probably never acknowledge him.
Long Feiye's eyes were starting to throb with a stabbing pain. He had been too slow back then-he should've stabbed Gu Qi Sha as soon as he landed.
"Master, we have to find esteemed wangfei immediately!" Chu Xifeng was alarmed. For them to rush back to Tianning's capital within a single day would be an extremely close shave. Long Feiye watched Gu Qi Sha's indistinct form get further and further away before his fists clenched. Gu Qi Sha, your lordship will remember this grudge.
Without a second's hesitation, master and servant got on their horses and rushed back to Tianning's capital city. Gu Qi Sha secretly followed the pair until they passed the entrance to his valley. He stood atop a hill and watched Long Feiye's figure disappear into the distance, before cackling in his eerie voice.
"Long Feiye, unless you bring me Han Yunxi yourself, there'll be no way for you to take away the Serpent Fruit."
Late at night on the second day, Long Feiye reached the Duke of Qin's estate. It was so late that even the lights in Han Yunxi's rooms had gone out. Because time was tight, Long Feiye entered directly through her windows. Chu Xifeng was about to follow him in his panic when he realized it was improper. He skidded to a stop just in time and withdrew.
"Who's there?!" Han Yunxi was startled awake as she sat bolt upright.
"Me." Long Feiye spoke as he lit the lamps. He was about to tell her about his poisoning when the sight of Han Yunxi made him stiffen.
Although his vision had weakened substantially thanks to the toxin, he could still see rather clearly at close distances. Han Yunxi's long hair pooled down past her shoulders. Her bare face looked innocent and pure, her eyes still half-opened. She was wearing a pure white inner robe with a V-shaped collar that hung loosely about her chest, hinting at the springtime vision within. Somehow, both innocent looks and subconscious sex appeal had combined into a perfect whole on this sleepy, half-awake woman. Long Feiye's gaze grew heated as his throat minutely tightened. He'd always had supreme self control, but this was the first time he could sense his control cracking.
Han Yunxi never expected Long Feiye of all people to barge into her rooms. Soon enough, her detox system began to alert her of toxins nearby.
She grew alarmed, too panicked to even notice the heat in Long Feiye's eyes, to upset to even call him directly by name. "Long Feiye, your eyes are poisoned!"
Her voice awoke Long Feiye from his stupor as well. A flicker of irritation passed through his heart; he'd always hated the sensation of losing control.
"Mm, it was a black powder. I avoided it, but didn't escape its effects," he explained, concise and comprehensive. But he had no plans to tell her he'd gone to Pill Fiend Valley.
"It's Black Ghost Powder!" Even without activating the detox system, she knew what Long Feiye was talking about.
Black Ghost Powder was hidden in its super microscopic powers. Even if the victim avoided its black powders, they could still be poisoned by the part they couldn't see. However, they could only be poisoned at close distance. Han Yunxi couldn't help but wonder how Long Feiye had gotten poisoned, and who did the deed. Of course, there was no time to ask that now. If his poisons weren't treated soon, Long Feiye would turn blind.
She quickly got off the bed, forgetting she was still dressing in sleeping robes and missing a bit of her usual calm professionalism.
"Hurry up and lie down, I'll get my needles right away," she was panicking, afraid that Long Feiye would run into another mishap.
Long Feiye lied on the bed and slowly shut his eyes. This woman was probably the only person in the entire world that could make him relax his guard. He'd leave his fragile eyes to her!
Although Han Yunxi was alarmed, she took even more cares because of it. She inserted each of her needles in the acupoints around his eyes until black, tear-like liquid slowly flowed out from Long Feiye's eyes. At this, Han Yunxi silently exhaled in relief. "It's fine now..."
Long Feiye wanted to open his eyes at these words, but Han Yunxi quickly covered them up. "Don't..."
Her hand was very soft, and still warm because she'd just woken up. His skin was just like his personality, icy and cold. Her warm skin against his chilly forehead had a tactile sensation that neither party could ignore. Both of them fell silent and didn't move. The heat in Han Yunxi's palm warmed up the area around Long Feiye's eyes and stimulated its blood flow. His tension there gradually relaxed, leaving inexplicable comfort in its wake. Reluctant to part with the sensation, he simply stopped moving.
Han Yunxi sat by his side, half of her body leaning over his form. It was rare for her to be so close to him without him staring back. She liked this kind of feeling! Her hand was getting sore, but she didn't want to move it at all. As she stared at him, her other hand unconsciously rose and...lightly brushed against his brows, wanting to smooth out the furrowed forehead.
The room was bathed in silent warmth.
Long Feiye felt the small movements against his forehead, but didn't move to stop her. He only felt that his entire head had relaxed. In this moment, he temporarily let go of all of his undertakings, responsibilities, misgivings, and waiting over the past ten years...