Even when Helian Zuixiang was shouting like this, the child huddled on the ground had no reaction. Han Yunxi had already determined that he'd lost consciousness from the cold. His little body had stopped moving, which meant things would turn serious if it continued. She was anxious. Little Chen Xiang, ah, little Chen Xiang. When will the reinforcements arrive?!
She was a wangfei with an empty title. Though she couldn't face off against the likes of Princess Changping or Mu Liuyue, she could still move the justice courts to action, even the Ministry of Appointments that Han Yuqi placed so much faith in. This stupid, arrogant Han Yuqi needed just such a lesson!
Seeing no response from her son, Helian Zuixiang was almost crazy. She crawled to Han Yuqi's feet and implored him through her tears, "Eldest young master, the storehouse key really isn't in my hands. I'm begging you, let us go!"
"Eldest young master, no matter what, Yunyi's still your little brother. On behalf of old master, just spare him! I'm begging you!"
"Eldest young master, I'll kowtow to you!"
Han Yunxi couldn't bear to look at this anymore. She was about to stop her when Han Yuqi perversely kicked Helian Zuixiang aside. "You think it's not there just because you said so? Someone, come do a strip search for this young master!"
These words frightened Helian Zuixiang into curling up on the ground, while Han Yunxi wordlessly pushed aside the servant blocking her way to rush in front of the woman. She spread open her arms to protect Helian Zuixiang.
"The storehouse key is with this wangfei, whoever has guts can search me instead!" she said coldly, eyes glaring as her body emitted an aggressive air. Those who saw her couldn't help but be seized with dread.
The storehouse key was with Han Yunxi? Han Yuqi gave a start before laughing. "Han Yunxi, this joke's not funny at all."
"Really?" Han Yunxi wore a mocking smile as she casually withdrew a key from her sleeve in front of all the onlookers.
It was a copper key of simple and unsophisticated make, having been passed down through generations of the Han Clan. It almost seemed to have a life of its own as it shone with an indistinct light. Though many of those present had never seen the storehouse key, Han Yuqi had spotted it multiple times in his father's hands. This was the symbol of the Han Head of House, his long yearned-for precious treasure. He recognized it at a glance! His eyes grew so wide that he turned stupefied.
"Is it funny now?" Han Yunxi smiled coldly.
"You...you actually...you slut, what right do you have to get the storehouse key! Give it to me!"
When Han Yuqi recovered, his expression took on the semblance of a avaricious, starving wolf seeing meat for the first time in ages. At this, the people around him grew astonished as well.
Heavens, why was the storehouse key in Han Yunxi's hands?
What was the meaning of this?
It couldn't be that the old master had handed it Han Yunxi personally? How could it be, didn't the old master loathe his married daughter? Nobody could understand, neither did Han Yuqi want to understand. Greed shone from his eyes as he threw himself forward to snatch it. But Han Yunxi anticipated this long ago and stuck the key inside the front of her robes, where it fell to rest by her stomach.
Seeing this, Han Yuqi stopped. "You!"
"How's that?" Han Yunxi raised an eyebrow.
No matter how bold Han Yuqi was, he still didn't dare to touch her. As useless as she was, she was still Qin Wangfei! Han Yuqi could rave and be rude, but if he really tried to search her, even if his grandfather was the Ministry of Appointments magistrate-or the emperor himself-Long Feiye wouldn't let the matter go!
This concerned a man's dignity and honor.
Han Yunxi was still Qin Wangfei in the end. Long Feiye could neglect her forever, but still, no other man could touch her. The thing he craved was right in front of his eyes, but impossible to obtain. Han Yuqi's anger burst forth from his heaving chest.
"Han Yunxi, why is the storehouse key with you? Did you steal it?" he asked icily. He couldn't believe that father would give her the key. Leaving aside the fact that father hated her, she was a daughter who'd already married into another family. That made her an outsider and disqualified her from the position as the Han Head of House.
Han Yunxi gave Han Yuqi a cold glance, disdaining to reply. She personally helped Helian Zuixiang sit up and murmured, "Don't worry. With me here, nothing will happen."
Helian Zuixiang had also been frightened by Han Yunxi and was still in a fluster. But she quickly recovered to plead, "Yunxi, Yunxi! Please save Yi'er, Yunxi, Yi'er and I have never made things difficult for you. Please save Yi'er for the sake of your father!"
Han Yunxi wasn't very close with this Seventh Madame, but she clearly recalled that only Seventh Madame had refrained from troubling her in the entire Han household.
"The child is innocent. Even if you did cause trouble for me, I'd still save him," Han Yunxi said earnestly.
But this only reminded Han Yuqi, who laughed. "Han Yunxi, give the key over right now or else I won't spare that brat!" As he spoke, he strode over to Han Yunyi, knocking aside the servants before they had time to get out of the way.
This twisted thing had started beating Han Yunyi again, and so viciously! He'd torn the old scars and bruises right open!
"No....!" Helian Zuixiang cried out, before her vision turned black and she fainted in Han Yunxi's arms.
Han Yunxi couldn't take it anymore. She put Helian Zuixiang down and stood up, killer intent infusing her entire being. In an instant, all the servants surrounded her, as if Han Yunxi really had the skills to do something against their master. Han Yuqi's uncertainty passed in an instant. Han Yunxi was just a weak woman, what could she do to him?
"How's this?" Han Yuqi played with the bamboo clappers in his hands, provoking her on purpose.
Han Yunxi held the key in one hand and hid poison needles in the other. "The storehouse key is right here. Don't trouble the child, but come and take it."
Seeing the key, Han Yuqi was radiant with joy. He didn't think much of it and threw the bamboo clapper aside, rushing forward to snatch it away. Han Yunxi backed up a step before Han Yuqi could notice. The moment he stretched his hand forward, she stabbed his wrist with her poison needles!
"Ahhh!" Han Yuqi screamed. "You dare to prick this young master?!"
He was about to hit her when he felt like something was biting his right hand, so painful that he couldn't even lift it.
"Han Yunxi, you..." Han Yuqi just realized he'd been tricked, cradling his right hand with his left. As the pain intensified, his eyebrows knitted together.
"Ant poison. You should've heard of it before. Release the child immediately or prepare for an amputation!" Han Yunxi warned.
Ant poison was a middle-grade poison that started with intense pain. It would quickly progress until the victim felt like thousands of ants were gnawing on his arm, unbearably itchy. No ordinary person could bear it, and no matter how they scratched, it wouldn't help. Unless one had an antidote, the toxins would gradually spread from the wrist to the entire body. The victim wouldn't die, but scratch himself to a point where he wasn't even human in a fate worse than death. In the absence of an antidote, the only solution was to amputate the poisoned area before it spread.
But there was a distinguishing trait to this poison. Only victims bitten by a venomous ant would contract the poison, because there was no way to extract the poison by itself! Though Han Yuqi didn't understand poisons, he was still a scion of a medical family and knew about ant poison! His hand was in pain, but he didn't fully believe Han Yunxi's warning.
"Han Yunxi, you think such a trivial trick will fool me?" Han Yuqi spoke, though he didn't move against Han Yunxi. Instead, a single glance signaled the servants by him to raise their bamboo sticks against Han Yunyi. But before they could hit, Han Yuqi ominously shouted, "Ah...it itches!"
The left hand that had been cradling his right suddenly started scratching uncontrollably. Now everyone was startled. Was it really ant poison?
Heavens, how could Han Yunxi have this poison? How did she extract it from the ants?!
Han Yuqi couldn't care about those details after the poison reacted. He started scratching like crazy, yelling all the while. "Itch...it itches to death! I'm itching to death! Quickly, quick, come and help me!"
The few servants rushed up to help him scratch his hand. At first it was only the palm and forearm that itched, but in an instant it had spread to his entire arm.
"Ahhh...I'm itching to death!"
"Here, it itches here, I can't stand it! Can't staaand it!"
Han Yuqi forgot all about his image as he tore off his clothes to scratch, revealing streaks of blood along his arm. Seeing this, none of the servants dared to touch him.
"Scratch it! Hurry, it's itching me to death. I can't stand it!" Han Yuqi howled. He'd long lost grip of reason.
"Eldest young master, eldest young Miss must have an antidote!" a servant reminded him.
Only then did Han Yuqi recovered his wits from the madness, raising his head towards Han Yunxi. He roared, "Slut, give me the antidote now!"
"Release Yi'er immediately, or else I'll make your whole body itch!" Han Yunxi said severely, not budging an inch. To her, poisons weren't just used to help people, but could harm and kill as well. If Han Yuqi still thought he had grounds to discuss conditions with her, he was too naive!
"You...you wish!" Han Yuqi wasn't going to compromise so easily. As soon as father had left, he'd thought of gaining the storehouse key, especially now that father was in jail.
Endure! He'd endure it!
"Someone, keep beating him up for this young master!" he ordered as he scratched.
As he did, he suddenly realized that not only his arm, but his shoulder had started to itch as well. The ant poison spread first slowly, then quickly. Most horrifying of all, the itch had reached his face! Heavens knows when Han Yunxi had used an enhanced version of the ant poison. At first, Han Yuqi had only felt a little itch on his shoulder, but soon after that, his neck and entire face started to itch as well!
"No...no..." He howled like a monkey, scratching his neck and face until he couldn't stand it. "Antidote, Han Yunxi. Give me the antidote and I'll let Han Yunyi go!"
Han Yunxi wasn't going to give in so easily. She glared at him and said, word-by-word, "Release him first. Otherwise, there's nothing to discuss!"
Han Yuqi was already tormented to the point where he couldn't bear a second further. If this kept on, he'd snap off his own arms and cut off his head. Too itchy, he really couldn't bear it!
He turned and cursed at the servants, "Let him go, quick! Release him!"
The servants were terrified by their master's frenzy and scattered to the sides, allowing Han Yunxi rushed over. Though she was anxious, she still made sure to be very careful in case she hurt Han Yunyi.
She picked up the clothes on the ground and lightly wrapped him up from the back, before taking him into her arms.