Chapter 693: Long Feiye, I’ll protect you
Lost Void Lake was a rather mystical place. It was located in a section of forest north of South Ning Prefecture. Only one path led to its shores, which were regularly shrouded in white mist. Travelers often lost their way within the haze, thus giving the lake its "Lost" name.
However, once you passed through the mists, you would see a whole new vista open up before your eyes. A fantastic lake with smaller lakes within it stretched on within the waters, thus giving the lake its "Void" name. Many ferocious beasts prowled in the forest surrounding the lake, so few people ever dropped by. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi arrived on horseback before dismounting in front of the mist.
Right now, it was currently noon, but the entire forest was still cool and dark as if removed from the world. Wutong trees bordered the pathway on both sides, making a straight marker down the path between the mists. Beyond that, everything was as like a sea of murky white clouds. Long Feiye had told Han Yunxi all about the strange nature of the place on their way here, so she was on guard now. She had long activated her detox system to scan for poisons, but found nothing so far.
Mother Nature was powerful enough to demand respect. Many natural phenomenon simply defied explanation. As Han Yunxi stood at the foot of the path and confirmed the mist was harmless, she started to enjoy the scenery around her instead.
"How vile of them to find a place like this," she smiled coldly. It was likely they'd be ambushed on the way.
Long Feiye took her hand and linked their fingers together tightly. "Be careful," he murmured in a low voice.
"Don't worry. Leave this pathway to me." Han Yunxi loved the mist too much. She took out two pills and swallowed one before giving the other to Long Feiye. Then she squeezed his hand and said, "Long Feiye, I'll protect you on this path! Do you believe me?"
"I do," Long Feiye knew that Han Yunxi had used poison.
The misty mazeway was very long and probably full of ambushes hiding in the shadows. He was expecting them to take ages just to pass through, but Han Yunxi's actions set his worries at rest. Even Jun Yixie from the Hundred Poisons Sect couldn't fight back against Han Yunxi's toxins. Who else could win against her in this world, even by a lucky fluke? He really had to thank the people who chose this spot for the ransom. Otherwise, a powerful poisons expert like Han Yunxi would have no place to showcase her skills.
The two of them quickly headed hand-in-hand into the mists.
Just how much did Long Feiye trust Han Yunxi? Besides holding tightly to her hand, he was completely relaxed. It seemed more like he was here to take a stroll. Han Yunxi too, was carefree and content. She had absolute certainty in her poison skills–not from conceit, but from confidence. Their trip started out quiet, but soon wretched cries rose from both sides of the path. Without a doubt, the killers lying in ambush had been struck with Han Yunxi's poison.
"What kind of poison is it?" Long Feiye asked.
"The most common stomach ache one," Han Yunxi grinned.
"That's not vicious enough," Long Feiye said objectively.
"There's no antidote to this poison. They'll be suffering from constant pain for three days and three nights before it wears off. Moreover, it's not the kind of pain that kills." Han Yunxi teased. "Do you want to try some too?"
"No need," Long Feiye grew solemn, before judging again, "A fate worse than death. Very good."
Actually, if this woman ever used her skills to her advantage, it'd be fatal.
Han Yunxi couldn't help but burst into laughter at Long Feiye's chilly face. He immediately tightened his grip on her hand, but she kept laughing. Without a word, he drew Han Yunxi into his arms until her face was pressed against her chest. Flattened against him, her laughter stopped. Despite the heavy mists, it was still possible to see their way. Han Yunxi took care of the hidden assassins while Long Feiye led them forwards.
Meanwhile, two women were standing shoulder to shoulder at the end of the path by the lake. One was old, the other young; one dressed in white robes like a fairy, the other in black robes like a demon. Both of them were staring at the path with heavy expressions.
"Why hasn't there been any news yet?" the younger woman was obviously impatient.
"What's the rush? Your ladyship has set an inescapable snare. Even if it was the sword sect elder himself who came, it's unlikely he'll come out," the older, black-robed woman scoffed.
"You gave them clear instructions, right? Only kill Han Yunxi, but don't hurt the Duke of Qin," the younger woman added.
"Don't worry," the older woman was getting annoyed.
Still, her companion couldn't set her fears at rest. She added, "I'll say the ugly things now. If your people harm a single hair on the Duke of Qin's head, don't think of getting anything for the rest of your life."
When the old woman ignored her, she said next, "And if you can't kill Han Yunxi, don't think of getting anything either. We had a deal."
The old woman just snorted contemptuously. She was about to speak when a black robed woman suddenly burst out of the mist to roll to a stop at her feet. She clutched her stomach, covered in cold sweat. It had taken every effort for her to run over here and deliver a message. It was impossible for her to even stand now.
"Your Ladyship, we….we….we've all been poisoned."
"What?" the young woman exclaimed.
The old woman was shocked as well. "All of you? How is that possible?"
Their targets were Long Feiye, Cloud Realm Continent's top level expert amongst its martial arts circles, and Han Yunxi, whose poison skills were formidable. The old woman wouldn't treat them lightly, so she'd planted 30 elite assassins to deal with them in the mists.
How could they have been defeated without giving a single blow? What did that count for?!
Even if Han Yunxi did use poison, she had to wait until the killers showed themselves before she had any chance, right? Where did she get the skills to infect the entire assassin team in such a short time?
"The rest of the sisters….they're all still in the woods, struck with stomach pains. It's impossible for any of them to move," the assassin reported.
"Could it be that Han Yunxi poisoned the mist?" the old woman muttered to herself. If we don't get rid of that woman, she'll give us endless trouble in the future. These poison skills are almost on par with Bai Yanqing's.
"Slut who deserves to die!" the younger woman cursed. "Lady Leng Yue, what do we do now?!"
That's right. The black robed woman was none other than the city lord of the City of Daughters and Bai Yanqing's subordinate, Lady Leng Yue. She had seen her share of things in the world, so she didn't panic over these developments.
"What's the rush? The path is called a maze because it's easy to lose one's way. It's not just the issue of some simple white mist."
"You mean to say…" the younger trailed off, not understanding. Lady Leng Yue was the one who chose this location in the first place.
"Qimen Dunjia is still in effect in the maze pathway. Even without traps, it's hard for them to find their way out!" Lady Leng Yue laughed. "They should have entered the formation by now."
After all, she had swore loyalty to Bai Yanqing in the past precisely because the man had saved her from this identical pathway after she'd been trapped for ten days and ten nights. Wracked with cold and hunger, she'd been on the verge of death when he rescued her. She owed Bai Yanqing her life, but served him wholeheartedly after discovering he was the leader of the Hundred Poisons Sect. He had assisted her greatly to obtain the title of city lord for the City of Daughters as well. Bai Yanqing didn't understand the ancient divination arts in effect on the path, but he still had a clever way of breaking through its maze.
After that incident, Lady Leng Yue invited a specialized Daoist to unravel the mystery of the path so she could claim Lost Void Lake for herself. This was why she could plant assassins within the formations at will.
"Qimen Dunjia?" the younger woman murmured before setting her cares at rest.
"Don't worry. Let them play around a bit. It won't be too late for your ladyship to move against them then." Despite her age, Lady Leng Yue had a more frivolous personality than some of her juniors.
"Fine. Then you can kill Han Yunxi personally when the time comes! And then bring the Duke of Qin to me," the younger woman smiled.
By now, Han Yunxi had already sensed something amiss within the pathway. She tugged at Long Feiye to stop and said, "Long Feiye, hold on. We walked past this spot already."
Long Feiye was puzzled. "The path is straight. There's only one way, bordered on both sides by trees."
They could get lost if they broke beyond the trees, but they'd been too clearheaded to wander off the path so far.
"There has to be a problem here," Han Yunxi muttered. "Just then, there was a poison victim 20 paces to the right of us who was 30 percent poisoned. Next to her were two more victims that were 40 and 50 percent poisoned. On our left, about 15 paces away, were two victims. One was 60 percent and the other was 80 percent poisoned. Anyone who's been 30 percent poisoned would have already lost the ability to move."
Han Yunxi's explanation enlightened Long Feiye. She was using the location of the poison victims to verify their own spot on the path. In other words, they'd doubled back to where they started again.
"The Qimen Dunjia!" Long Feiye muttered to himself.
"So such a thing exists!" Han Yunxi had suspected, but didn't dare to believe. She didn't know anything about divination or formations. What now?
"Long Feiye, do you understand it?"
"Someone would. Where's the closest assassin to our location?" Long Feiye murmured.
Han Yunxi immediately understood. Since the assassins could hide themselves within the pathways, they must know how to work around the formations. Very soon, Han Yunxi used her detox system to track down the closest victim. They headed towards the spot, but had hardly taken ten steps before the target changed locations.
Han Yunxi immediately stopped walking. "The person disappeared! Impossible, that victim was already 80 percent poisoned. They wouldn't even have the energy to crawl."
"They didn't move, but we went the wrong way. Directions are constantly changing within the Qimen Dunjia."
Thanks to the constant shift in directions within the mist, it was impossible to tell where they were going. Han Yunxi mused over this before she muttered, "You meant to say that as long as we find the right directions, we'll be able to get out of here?"
"Everything within this formation will shift along with our movements. How can we verify something like that?" Long Feiye's eyes flickered with a hint of doubt. He had studied this spot before coming here, but didn't realized the path itself was part of a hidden matrix. However, that also meant that someone was controlling the matrix from behind the scenes.
Han Yunxi smoothed out Long Feiye's forehead after seeing his gaze turn grave. "Don't think so much. I said already that I'd protect you on this pathway. Just relax and follow me."
"You have a solution?" Long Feiye was surprised. Han Yunxi was always giving him no end of surprises. But judging from her previous actions, she didn't understand the Qimen Dunjia at all.
Just what did this woman have up her sleeve?