Throughout the entire afternoon, Duanmu Baiye had urged Han Yunxi to hurry up and find the Wall-Hitting Ghost. Now that things were past the point of no return, he'd rather lose earlier than have Yao Yao foolishly searching outside. But Han Yunxi just wasn't anxious. Right now, she was sitting with Long Feiye at a stone table, drinking tea and eating pastries.
As for the Wall-Hitting Ghost, she hadn't said a word about it. Long Feiye didn't ask, but he had to admit that this woman had done the unexpected again, enough to pleasantly surprise him. For some reason, he firmly believed that she could definitely find the Wall-Hitting Ghost. Long Feiye gave Han Yunxi a careless glance, and a flicker of approval flitted past his eyes before he even realized it himself.
It was the first time he'd ever approved of a woman.
What other abilities was she hiding?
Finally, the skies had grown completely dark. Duanmu Yao still hadn't returned. Duanmu Baiye couldn't bear it anymore as he strode before Han Yunxi. "Qin Wangfei, since you've already found the Wall-Hitting Ghost, just reveal its location instead of wasting everyone's time."
No human would believe that Han Yunxi hadn't found the Wall-Hitting Ghost yet with her carefree attitude. She was dragging things out on purpose to make Yao Yao suffer!
Pill Fiend's eyes lit up before his gaze grew complicated. He hoped that Han Yunxi could stun him by discovering the Wall-Hitting Ghost, yet he didn't want his painstaking topics to be resolved so easily. Of course, what he hated the most was missing the chance to make Long Feiye pay.
Han Yunxi raised her eyebrows at Duanmu Baiye and said earnestly, "Crown Prince Ye is praising me overmuch. From what I know, the Wall-Hitting Ghost is a very evil plant. You can only plant one on an entire mountain, or else everything else will die. With such a big valley and just one plant, it's quite difficult to track down. How could I find it so fast?"
Han Yunxi's words made Pill Fiend look on in admiration. By now, he had to esteem this woman. She actually knew the properties of the Wall-Hitting Ghost, so she must be a highly skilled and knowledgeable kindred spirit.
So young and a female to boot, that wasn't simple!
Pill Fiend looked and looked at Han Yunxi before narrowing his eyes, appreciation gradually replacing his previous hostility.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi's words were like a sneer to Duanmu Baiye. Pill Fiend had said there was only one Wall-Hitting Ghost in the entire valley. Now that Han Yunxi was emphasizing this fact, she was undoubtedly hinting to Duanmu Baiye that she was doing this on purpose. Wasn't Duanmu Yao's speed very fast? She could still circle a few more times outside. Since it was already dark, she didn't want to leave just yet.
Duanmu Baiye's fists clenched tightly. If Han Yunxi had been a man, he definitely would've punched him! Every day that Han Yunxi delayed in the courtyard was one more day of hard work for Yao Yao. If she dragged things on for a month, then Yao Yao would have to struggle for a month, maybe even a year...
Yao Yao had completely become the passive party!
Duanmu Baiye sincerely wished that Yao Yao could come to a realization and come back to look in the courtyard. It was much easier than searching through the entire valley. But even he didn't think that Yao Yao could make such a breakthrough. First and foremost, she wasn't that bright; secondly, he was familiar with her personality.
She'd hold onto face and not return unless she found a plant. Duanmu Baiye suppressed his rage, stuck before painfully enduring everything or erupting. The more he looked at Han Yunxi, the more his chest hurt. This crafty woman, what 'first ever useless trash?' What 'couldn't recognize medicinal plants?' It was probably all a sham!
Time trickled by. Pill Fiend called for the evening meal, and Long Feiye and Han Yunxi both ate while Duanmu Baiye had no appetite at all.
Yao Yao, ah, Yao Yao, you should come back for a bit!
Yet, an entire night passed without Duanmu Yao returning. According to the old steward's report, Princess Changle was flying all over the valley with torch in hand. Hearing this, Han Yunxi snorted with laughter and Duanmu Baiye narrowly avoiding spitting up blood in rage. With Long Feiye watching out for Duanmu Baiye, Han Yunxi felt very secure. She'd long retired to the guest rooms to sleep. It had to be said that she made it impossible for even Pill Fiend to sleep, so he ended up watching Duanmu Baiye with Long Feiye.
After rushing around and riding a carriage, Han Yunxi slept both deeply and sweetly. She only woke up the next day at san gan hour to walk lazily into the yard.
"Morning," Han Yunxi greeted everyone. She was in a good mood.
Long Feiye raised an eyebrow as he looked at her and didn't speak. Pill Fiend was still filled with misgivings, and didn't know what to say. Duanmu Baiye narrowed his eyes at Han Yunxi, before suddenly dashing in front of her. But at the same time, Long Feiye also stepped forward and placed her behind him, giving Duanmu Baiye a cold stare to express his displeasure.
Though she knew Long Feiye was protecting her for the reason of the Life Blood Pill, Han Yunxi still felt her heart warm up slightly. This at least proved that she was worth the protection of the world's foremost sovereign.
"What are you two playing at?" Duanmu Baiye finally lost it.
Although it had only been one day and one night, he was still distressed over his little sister. Yao Yao was the golden branch and jade leaf, doted on since youth in the palm of everyone's hand. Even when she was training martial arts with her Master, she'd never suffered like this! Furthermore, Han Yunxi had set up this chessboard from the start, and now she was here watching the joke. Staying here any longer was just pure humiliation for both of them.
This was the first time that Duanmu Baiye had been beaten by a woman, and he couldn't take the shame!
"Crown Prince Ye, don't be impatient. I haven't even found the third plant yet. If you can't wait, you could always give up. I won't stop you," Han Yunxi reminded him sincerely.
These words made Duanmu Baiye abruptly raise an angry hand. "You!"
A flash of kilingr intent flitted past Long Feiye's eyes as he caught Duanmu Baiye's wrist. "Qin Wangfei isn't someone you can threaten lightly."
Seeing Long Feiye's killing intent, Duanmu Baiye felt his heart give a jolt. In all the years he'd known Long Feiye, he'd never seen him so earnest about a mere woman.
"Duke of Qin, don't tell me you're really getting the Life Blood Pill for this woman's sake!" Duanmu Baiye tried to feel him out.
Long Feiye roughly pushed him aside until he crashed into a nearby wall. His reply was cold. "It has nothing to do with you. Either admit your loss or wait on the side."
Duanmu Baiye clenched his fists but could do nothing except keep waiting. Very quickly, half a day passed. Han Yunxi basked in the sun as she drank tea, occasionally sending glances to Duanmu Baiye with a smile that wasn't a smile, provoking him immensely. Duanmu Baiye could only stew in his anger. He'd been proud and arrogant his whole life, but this was the first time someone had tried to aggravate him, and a woman at that.
Did or didn't he endure?
Finally, he couldn't hold himself back and stood up to say viciously, "You Excellency Pill Fiend, we give up. Call Yao Yao back right now!"
Pill Fiend dug in his ears and shouted, "What? What did Crown Prince Ye say? Your Excellency didn't hear."
Duanmu Baiye, the bloodthirsty crown prince, had never been so sullen. When had he ever admitted defeat so easily?
"We give up. If you want the Seven Stars Caterpillar Grass, then you'll bring Yao Yao back!" Duanmu Baiye's rage reached to the skies, his voice so gloomy that it sounded like it came from hell.
Pill Fiend put on a disdainful glance before ordering, "Someone, bring Princess Changle back!"
Duanmu Baiye didn't even want to see Han Yunxi anymore, but lifted his robes to sit down on one side, his face completely black. Han Yunxi rejoiced and cheerfully looked at Long Feiye. She didn't mind Duanmu Baiye's anger at all, but shouted, "Long Feiye, I won!"
Han Yunxi's curvy smile made her entire person shine with a piercing light. This radiance made Long Feiye's eyes freeze in place on her face, unmoving for a long time.
Seeing that Long Feiye's expression had no reaction, Han Yunxi raised up two fingers in a "V" shape and gave a brilliant smile. "Hey, we won."
The corner of Long Feiye's lips tugged up in what might have been a smile. In any case, it looked very stiff and made Han Yunxi want to roll her eyes. In the end, she let it go; this Giant Ice Cube had naturally paralyzed facial muscles and she was already used to it.
Duanmu Baiye was already extremely provoked, but hearing Han Yunxi so happy made him boil with rage. He wasn't planning to look at her, but now he was outright glaring her way. If looks could kill, Han Yunxi would've long been destroyed and turned into flying ashes.
Meanwhile, Pill Fiend kept his eyes on Long Feiye. If it wasn't for Han Yunxi's competition this time, he wouldn't have let Long Feiye take away the Life Blood Pill so easily. Where did this guy find such a remarkable woman? If she could stay in Pill Fiend Valley, it wouldn't be a bad idea either.
Soon enough, Duanmu Yao was found and brought back, her person dark and gloomy. On first sight, her long hair was in a mess, and her untainted white robes were spotted with dirt. She must not have slept all night because her bloodshot eyes showed nothing but exhaustion. The person who brought her back didn't tell her what had happened, but she grew alert as soon as she saw Han Yunxi inside the courtyard. With a cold smile, she said, "What, Han Yunxi? Are you going to give up now?"
Don't mention three plants, even one would be impossible for this woman to find. If she wasn't admitting defeat, then why would they bring her back? Han Yunxi didn't speak, but measured her up and down as she ruminated. Duanmu Baiye was both distressed over his little sister and flat-out indignant as he pulled Duanmu Yao over unhappily.
"Hand over the Seven Stars Caterpillar Grass."
These words stunned Duanmu Yaol "What?"
"They won. Hand over the item," Duanmu Baiye's expression grew heavier.
Duanmu Yao was stunned again, before fury reached her tone. "Impossible! How did they win, where are the things?" Though she knew her imperial brother wouldn't lie to her, she still didn't believe it. This was too sudden!
"Your imperial brother asked His Excellency Pill Fiend about giving up. You can ask His Excellency Pill Fiend if you don't believe it," Han Yunxi gave a harmless smile.
Duanmu Yao abruptly looked towards Pill Fiend, who nodded in response. Incredulous, she backed up a few steps before suddenly grabbing onto Duanmu Baiye's collar for an interrogation.
"Who told you to give up? Who told you?"
Duanmu Baiye was a dignified crown prince, but he allowed his sister to haul him by the collar without getting angry. Instead, all he felt was distress and concern for her sake as he explained in a low voice. But Duanmu Yao flew into a rage before he finished. It was one thing to get the Life Blood Pill, but another to lose face. How could she lose to Han Yunxi? And even in front of Senior Brother?
"Where are the things? This princess wants to see for herself!" Duanmu Yao was extremely angry as she rushed to Han Yunxi's face. Even her brother couldn't hold her back.
Han Yunxi was pleased to indulge her, and pointed out the Seven Deaths Hawktail and Simple White Yimi in the courtyard. Duanmu Yao didn't expect this and only recovered after realizing her own sheer stupidity.
 san gan hour (??) - approximately 9AM in Chinese measurement of hours/time.
 golden branch and jade leaf (????) - jin zhi yu ye, an idiom used to describe the nobility, especially those of imperial lineage or possessing peerless beauty.