As Chu Liuyue stared unblinkingly at Qiang Wanzhou, he said with much hesitation, “Messed Yuan Gravel is very sensitive to human blood, so it’ll gather very quickly if you use fresh blood as bait. When it condenses to form a block, it means that there’s no more Messed Yuan Gravel within a 30-mile radius. This is how you can completely get rid of it in one go.”
Chu Liuyue froze for a moment. “Fresh blood? H-how much blood would be needed for such a huge mountain?”
“You don’t need a lot. It’s just that… it must be fresh blood,” Qiang Wanzhou emphasized. “Blood in one’s body.”
Chu Liuyue’s eyes narrowed when she finally understood what he was saying. “So you’re saying that… We have to use a living person as bait, is that right?”
Qiang Wanzhou nodded. “Only then can we attract all the Messed Yuan Gravel over and find the most accurate time to counterattack. Any earlier or later will just be a waste of effort.”
“Since this method is so convenient, why didn’t you tell me about it right from the start?” asked Chu Liuyue all of a sudden.
Qiang Wanzhou fell silent.
“Is it because nobody can withstand the Messed Yuan Gravel?” Chu Liuyue asked gently. “Were you lying to me when you said that it’s not poisonous to people?”
“It wasn’t a lie,” interrupted Qiang Wanzhou irritatedly. “It’s true that the poison won’t pose much of a problem to humans, b-but… The point is that it’ll sap one’s force when it gathers in the human body. It’s fine if you have enough force, but if your force completely depletes before it condenses… It’ll start eroding the human flesh, just like what it did to the herbs.”
“I see.” Chu Liuyue sighed in relief. That’s not a problem at all.
Qiang Wanzhou took a step forward, his eyes trained on her. “You intend to be the bait yourself, am I right?”
Chu Liuyue blinked her eyes and wanted to deny it right away. But when she met his crystal-clear eyes, she nodded in the end.
“You can’t do that!” objected Qiang Wanzhou vehemently.
“Why not?” The corners of Chu Liuyue’s lips rose.
“No means no! Why do you have to be the bait when there are so many people in Chong Xu Cabinet?” Qiang Wanzhou’s pretty face appeared sullen. I knew it! I knew she’d definitely try and find some way to help out once she learned of this solution!
“Little Zhou, you’ve met the people in our sect earlier. Do you think any of them is a much more suitable candidate than I am?” asked Chu Liuyue with a sigh. Let’s not even mention those who are weaker than me. The ones who are stronger… probably can’t withstand the poison.
I, however, can do it because I have a mysterious water droplet in my body. Although I’ve never told Qiang Wanzhou about it, given how smart he is, he has probably figured out that I have a powerful trick up my sleeve after living with me for so many days. Besides, he saw me draw out the Long Yuan Sword that day with his two eyes. There’s no way an ordinary stage-four warrior could possibly accomplish such a feat.
“The Cabinet Master and Elder Xia Yi are around too,” argued Qiang Wanzhou defiantly.
“I don’t believe that you can’t tell that the Cabinet Master is injured. As for Elder Xia Yi… Although he’s in good health, he’s currently Chong Xu Cabinet’s second-in-command. There are many things that he has to handle in person.” Chu Liuyue rubbed Qiang Wanzhou on the head, chuckling. There’s a certain amount of risk involved in this matter. Should anything go wrong… Chong Xu Cabinet will be in upheaval again.
Qiang Wanzhou slapped her hand away in annoyance. “Do you have to do it yourself?! You might be capable, but you’re not invincible!”
His sudden outburst surprised Chu Liuyue, for this was the first time he had ever flared up at her and smacked her hand away. He had never done this to her back when they weren’t as close as now.
A hint of regret surfaced on his face when he noticed Chu Liuyue’s stunned expression and realized that he had lost control of himself. His lips parted for a moment, but nothing came out of his mouth.
“…What’s wrong, Little Zhou?” asked Chu Liuyue gently. “Are you… worried about me?”
Things became tense between them for a moment when Qiang Wanzhou turned away from her. He wanted to push her hands when he felt them on his arm at first, but in the process of doing so, he saw her face appear in his peripheral vision. He didn’t do anything about it in the end.
As Chu Liuyue held his arm, she walked to the front to face him and said ever so seriously, “Little Zhou, I don’t do things that I’m not confident of.”
Qiang Wanzhou’s gaze flickered, and he couldn’t resist asking, “Why do you have to help them to this extent though?” It’s only our first day at Chong Xu Cabinet, and we’ve only met the Cabinet Master a couple of times. Although I didn’t ask her anything, I found it strange when she picked Chong Xu Cabinet out of the many sects. Now, she even wants to risk her life to help them. I really can’t understand what’s on her mind.
He’s asking why I have to help them to this extent? As Chu Liuyue looked at the young man—whose good-looking face looked youthful, stubborn, and naive—in front of her, her emotions rippled slightly. “Little Zhou, why did you come all the way to Xi Ling to look for that person?”
Even though he was surprised by that sudden question, he firmly answered, “Because she’s very important to me.”
“My answer is the same as yours,” said Chu Liuyue with a nod. Even though I was under Weichi Song’s tutelage for a long time in my past life learning how to refine pills, I never officially became his disciple despite my wish to do so. According to Weichi Song, there were a lot of implications behind my Crown Princess status, and if he were to accept me as his disciple, the entire Chong Xu Cabinet might become my burden.
There’s an unwritten rule in the Tianling Dynasty: No princes and princesses are to get too close to any of the sects in Xi Ling City. It’s to avoid suspicion of a power struggle. To be honest, I didn’t consider it a problem since I practically had all the power in the Tianling Dynasty as the Crown Princess. However, Weichi Song was very insistent on it. I’ve always been grateful toward him, so if there’s something that I can do for him and the entire Chong Xu Cabinet, I naturally want to do it.
This answer left Qiang Wanzhou speechless. He didn’t understand how Chong Xu Cabinet was important to her, but since she said so…
“You’re sure you can do it, right?” he asked stubbornly.
Chu Liuyue nodded. She had noticed that Qiang Wanzhou seemed to be afraid of something, but this wasn’t the best time to ask questions about it.
Qiang Wanzhou eventually gave his consent. “I’ll help to protect you.”
Chu Liuyue heaved a sigh of relief.
“Juniors, quickly come out if you’re done! We’ll be in trouble if someone discovers us here!” urged Lu Zhiyao from outside.
After exchanging looks with each other, Chu Liuyue and Qiang Wanzhou turned around and exited the garden, much to Lu Zhiyao’s relief.
Chu Liuyue then said, “I’m going to see the Cabinet Master.”