Chapter 403: Satisfactory retaliation
The fish that had crashed against the surface of the ice was already dead. The sight of its open mouth reminded Han Yunxi of angling fish. She wasn't sure what kind of bait the ancients used to hook their fish, but she knew that people in modern times used man-made bait. Such bait ranged from using powders, flakes, or feed as the foundation and then adding in essence and traditional Chinese medicine extracts with fishy-smell essence and other additives. There were around a dozen ingredients involved, but the end result was an irresistibly tasty lure for fish. Before angling for fish, such bait was scattered on the water to attract them without fail.
Suppose she did the same to the fish in this lake?
The fish must have other reasons besides oxygen for flocking to the big fisheye. Otherwise, why would the fish differentiate between that hole and the ones from the small and medium fisheyes? Han Yunxi had no time to consider the exact details, but she figured that the fish had to be hungry after staying under the ice for so long.
Immediately, she proclaimed, "Your Highness, have men break open the ice. Chenqie has an idea!"
Everyone looked over at her words, including Baili Mingxiang.
"Break open the ice?" Long Feiye echoed uncomprehendingly.
"Yes, anywhere you'd like. Make a hole, more or less!" Han Yunxi clarified.
"Esteemed wangfei, this is..." General Baili couldn't help but speak up.
"Of course we're going to cast nets and catch fish. There's so many of them that I refuse to believe we can't catch some," Han Yunxi grinned.
"Esteemed wangfei, this..." General Baili didn't know what to say. This woman really was headstrong, coming up with ridiculous ideas even without knowing anything about the Illusory Sea Lake's mystical properties. Forget about breaking the ice willy-nilly; even if she found a few more medium fisheyes, it wouldn't make any difference. The appearance of a big fisheye meant that everything was over.
General Baili was about to explain all this to Han Yunxi when Long Feiye immediately issued orders, "Someone come, do as wangfei says. Break open the ice now!"
Long Feiye never fought a losing battle, but even he himself had lost track of when he started to believe in Han Yunxi. He had agreed to her request without a second thought. Han Yunxi wasn't surprised by his trust, having long gotten used to his ways. Baili Mingxiang and General Baili both felt like Han Yunxi was making mischief, but the former couldn't help looking forward to what would happen next after seeing the confidence in Han Yunxi's eyes. That woman had her own magnetic charm that gave people hope in their moments of despair. Her self-confidence was bright enough to illuminate the entire world.
The workers moved forward and used their axes to hack through the ice. Very soon, the lake grew busy with their work. Jun Yixie glanced over and found himself bewildered. "They're actually hacking through the ice?"
"Whose idea is this? What are they planning?" Ouyang Ningruo was flabbergasted. Long Feiye was a formidable character, so why would he proceed with such a stupid idea?
"They're like cornered dogs waiting to jump off a wall! Hahah!" Jun Yixie laughed coldly. After facing off with Long Feiye multiple times, he was finally feeling great!
General Baili couldn't contain himself at Jun Yixie's laughter. "Your Highness, futile efforts will only inspire mockery."
Long Feiye didn't answer, but returned to sit by the fire and warm himself. His eyes were restrained, making it impossible for anyone to read his mood. There was no telling whether he was anxious or calm. Han Yunxi sat next to him, her hands propping up her chin as she shut her eyes, seemingly at rest. General Baili nearly went mad at the sight. He couldn't help but recall Aunt Ru's words from the Tang Clan. His Highness indulges that woman too much. One of these days, she'll make a mess of his matters.
As the skies darkened, wood was added to the bonfire to make it bigger. The light from the flames illuminated the lake's surface. By now, Jun Yixie's side had already gathered multiple nets of fish. He was currently eating grilled fish with Ouyang Ningruo by their fire, his bright and hearty laughter ringing in the air like a spring breeze. Meanwhile, the workers on Long Feiye's side had already created a hole that was about half a meter across. There wasn't a single fish in the water, and the surface of the pool was absolutely still. General Baili had held himself back the entire afternoon. Now he finally spoke up. "Your Highness, the ice's already been broken through."
Long Feiye glanced at Han Yunxi, only to see her still closing her eyes in feigned sleep. He remained silent in response. General Baili wrinkled his brows and wanted to question Han Yunxi directly, but he calmed down after Baili Mingxiang shot him a look. Actually, both Jun Yixie and Ouyang Ningruo were waiting for results, just like General Baili and Baili Mingxiang! After an entire afternoon had passed, the only results they'd seen was a new hole in the lake.
"Have they finally given up after seeing no fish in the waters?" Jun Yixie was getting impatient.
"How strange," Ouyang Ningruo only found the entire situation odd, but he couldn't explain where or why.
"Just wait. Once it gets light, they'll have to leave," Jun Yixie said confidently. But it wasn't long before Han Yunxi got up to walk towards the hole in the ice, with Long Feiye following close behind. In a flash, everyone's eyes focused on the same spot.
"Is that woman planning to cast in the nets?" Jun Yixie smirked. Ouyang Ningruo didn't speak, but started to feel a bit uneasy.
"Could it be that she has some sort of cheat?"
After getting swindled by that woman multiple times, Jun Yixie couldn't help but feel nervous at the remark. He unconsciously rose to his feet. Han Yunxi was kneeling by the edge of the water when she took out a small porcelain bottle from her medical pouch.
At this, Jun Yixie cried, "Han Yunxi, are you planning to use poison?" If she can't have them, she won't let others get them either? That was precisely Jun Yixie's way of handling things, so he was all too familiar with the methods.
Ouyang Ningruo shot a nervous glance over and reminded, "Qin Wangfei, Fishery Island isn't just any ordinary location. You can't afford to make trouble!"
The taboos of Fishery Island weren't public decrees, but mutually respected by a majority of its visitors. There were too many people who had met with strange, untimely deaths after violating the unspoken rules.
"This wangfei simply wants to feed the fish. What are you lot getting so worked up about? What, is there a rule against feeding fish on the island as well?" Han Yunxi retorted with a grin.
"Feed the fish? This lord says you're using poison instead!" Jun Yixie raged, before glancing at Long Feiye. "Long Feiye, you're simply a cornered dog who wants to jump off a wall. Aren't methods like this beneath you?"
Long Feiye's eyes were cold. Rather than waste words, he simply took the bottle from Han Yunxi's hands, opened the lid, and scattered its contents into the water.
"Long Feiye, you!" Jun Yixie's nostrils flared in anger.
"A cornered dog wouldn't jump off a wall, but into the sea instead!" Long Feiye retorted with an obvious jab to Jun Yixie's earlier actions. His glare turned as sharp as knives while Jun Yixie clenched his fists. The two lords were less than five steps apart and ready to start fighting at any moment. But Han Yunxi ignored them both in favor of crouching by the water, her chin resting in her hands. She stared at the lake as if waiting for something. Her behavior piqued the interest of Ouyang Ningruo, who decided to focus wholly on her instead of the imminent scuffle.
What an interesting woman. Did she really use poison just then?
Han Yunxi stared at her reflection in the water and caught Ouyang Ningruo's reflection as well. She noticed him staring at her-as was the rest of the world. Despite this, she held her cool and remained waiting. Time passed by slowly. In the distance, Old Yu and the others were still hauling out nets of fish from the big fisheye as if nothing had changed.
Could it be that she didn't use poison? Then what did she put in there? Jun Yixie had already shot multiple glances in Old Yu's direction. And yet suddenly, the still water in front of Han Yunxi began to bubble and shift. There were fish beneath its surface!
How could this be...?
Very soon, the entire surface of the water was filled with bubbles. Ripples disturbed the surface of the water in waves as more and more fish gathered at the opening. Jun Yixie and Ouyang Ningruo both gaped at the sight. General Baili and Baili Mingxiang, who'd ran over to see as well, were equally floored.
How is this possible?
This wasn't a fisheye, but a regular hole hacked through the ice. Moreover, there was already a big fisheye nearby, so why would any fish want to come here? Had their vision gone bad? General Baili hastily rubbed his eyes before looking once more. What he saw was even more fish than before. Soon enough, the entire surface of the water grew violent. Following that, Old Yu exclaimed, "Your Highness Duke of Kang, Master Ouyang, you better come and have a look. Something's happened!"
Jun Yixie and Ouyang Ningruo turned to run over, only to discover the swarms of fish in the big fisheye had all started retreating from the opening. The teeming bubbles and crowds of fish had started to scatter and disperse. This situation exactly mirrored the one that had occurred in Baili Mingxiang's medium fisheye.
The myth of the big fisheye had been broken! Just what had Han Yunxi done?!
Less than an hour later, it seemed as if Han Yunxi had switched the locations of the big fisheye utterly. All of the fish vanished from their hole and rushed towards her instead. Long Feiye naturally understood that Han Yunxi had used some sort of drug. What was in the bottle wasn't poison, but definitely some sort of miracle medicine! Something that could attract the fish without harming their lives!
Using this to take revenge on Jun Yixie really was a thrill! A happy Long Feiye cried, "Someone, prepare the nets to haul in the fish!"
So speaking, he ignored the presence of everyone else and pulled Han Yunxi to her feet, before seizing her lips with a deep and domineering kiss. She had done a brilliant job!
Han Yunxi was still lost in the joys of her successful experiment. She never expected Long Feiye would act so aggressively, much less in public. Couldn't he restrain himself in front of all these people?! Hadn't he always been conservative when it came to displays of affection?
Well, alright. The current Han Yunxi had no time to reconsider or resist him. As their warm lips touched, his masculine aura surrounded her on all sides until she surrendered willingly. He hadn't even bullied her much before her entire body went limp, leaving her physically paralyzed in his arms. No matter how capable she was, before his favors she was but a flower or a drop of water, a completely happy little woman.
On one side, the fish were teeming in the waters; on the other, they were kissing. It really was a lovely scene to behold. General Baili was overjoyed at the unexpected turn of events. While he ordered the workers to get fishing, he couldn't help casting extra glances at His Highness and esteemed wangfei.
I was wrong, he thought. Aunt Ru is wrong, too. If this woman isn't worthy of His Highness, then no other woman in the world will be able to take her place.
Baili Mingxiang's heart was filled with complex feelings. She looked away from the scene, afraid that she wouldn't be able to keep her cool, afraid that her heart might break instead...
Meanwhile, Jun Yixie felt like vomiting blood! If Ouyang Ningruo hadn't held him back, he would have forgotten all about the rules of Fishery Island and went to attack Han Yunxi instead! Hatred shone in his eyes.
Han Yunxi, if your lord can't have you, I'll make sure Long Feiye can't have you either!
Your lord wants to utterly destroy you!