Chapter 402: They actually found it Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
While everyone was still stunned over Baili Mingxiang’s discovery, the fisherman Old Yu had started to shout.
“I’ve found it! Hahaha, I’ve finally found it!”
“It’s been years, but I’ve finally tracked it down!”
Ouyang Ningruo and Jun Yixie both hurried to his side while the other fishermen stopped to watch. What was wrong with Old Yu?
“Could he have found a medium fisheye as well?” Han Yunxi asked doubtfully.
“Impossible!” Baili Mingxiang rejected the possibility instantly. “Esteemed wangfei, there’s no way for a second medium fisheye to show up so close to the first!”
Old Yu was still shouting from about 200 meters away, waving his arms and legs in joy.
“You’re certain?” Long Feiye asked.
Baili Mingxiang met his cold, serious eyes with determination despite her wavering heart. “Your Highness, don’t worry. Mingxiang is certain that it isn’t a medium fisheye!” Your Highness, it’s been years since I’ve gotten a chance to stand before you and speak. How could I, Baili Mingxiang, make careless remarks at a time like this?
“Your Highness, the other side is probably bluffing. Let’s hurry up and reel in our fish first,” General Baili urged. Long Feiye nodded, but his gaze didn’t shift from Old Yu. Han Yunxi was looking in the same direction.
Baili Mingxiang felt a little disappointed by Long Feiye’s lack of response and wanted to explain further when Han Yunxi cut in again. “That Old Yu couldn’t have found a big fisheye, right?”
“Esteemed wangfei, you’re overthinking things, aren’t you? Heheh!” General Baili laughed in disdain. He had some understanding of fisheyes as well, so Han Yunxi’s comments seemed laughable in his eyes. The records of Fishery Island had yet to list any person who found a big fisheye! Rumors had it that a single big fisheye was capable of reeling in all the fish in the Illusory Sea Lake.
“As I see it, they’re not bluffing. If they haven’t found a medium fisheye, it must be a big one,” Han Yunxi said, feeling strongly that something was amiss with Ouyang Ningruo and Jun Yixie’s agitated states.
Baili Mingxiang was quick to offer an explanation. “Esteemed wangfei, perhaps you haven’t heard, but big fisheyes only exist as the stuff of legends. No one’s actually seen one in person.”
“That doesn’t mean they don’t exist!” Han Yunxi said sternly.
Baili Mingxiang was frightened by her coldness and lost her will to speak. General Baili was a bit unhappy to see his daughter called into question so soon after her success and turned to Long Feiye. “Your Highness, you understand how fisheyes work as well.”
Han Yunxi was being a little impulsive, but she hadn’t intended to argue over who was right or wrong. She was more worried that their opponents really had found a big fisheye. Things would be over if that is the case! Baili Mingxiang had no interest in arguing about anything, but had only reported the truth. Still, she couldn’t help glancing at Long Feiye after her father’s words. Esteemed wangfei didn’t understand fisheyes, but His Highness definitely did. He should know that her words were right–big fisheyes were a myth at most. She hadn’t come here just to find fisheyes on a whim, but after careful thought.
They had chosen this location because the possibility of fisheyes occurring here was very high. She could even locate small fisheyes much faster than any of those fishermen, but she’d steeled her heart against that to grab the first medium fisheye. She was absolutely certain that no other medium fisheye would appear within 500 meters of the first! Moreover, there’d be seven to eight small fisheyes here at the most, their numbers not exceeding ten in total. She not only wanted His Highness to win, but to score a splendid victory that would make him impossible to beat. Esteemed wangfei’s proposal of a ‘big fisheye’ would just mean she lost, wouldn’t it?
By now, Ouyang Ningruo had already reached Old Yu and exchanged a few words with him. Old Yu was no longer shouting in excitement, and even Jun Yixie had stopped acting high and lofty. The three of them conferred in hushed tones over something before Ouyang Ningruo called over all of their fishermen and workers. Long Feiye stared at them with a complicated expression before he finally intoned, “Perhaps there really is a big fisheye…”
“Your Highness, you know that’s impossible! They’ve lost, so they must be pretending on purpose! It might even be some sort of trap!” General Baili didn’t want to accept this!
Baili Mingxiang quietly lowered her head. Although she never competed for anything, she still felt wronged. His Highness was clearly favoring esteemed wangfei’s view. Long Feiye ignored General Baili to continue studying Jun Yixie’s team. The workers had already spread out their nets in preparation to catch the fish, while a further pile of nets laid in wait on the side.
“The situation doesn’t look good,” Han Yunxi began to worry.
General Baili wanted to speak again when a worker by their medium fisheye suddenly cried out, “Your Highness, bad news! This is terrible!”
“What is it?” Long Feiye immediately looked over.
“Your Highness, the fish in the fisheye are retreating from the opening. It’s too late to reel in the nets,” the worker was both anxious and surprised.
“How could this be?!” General Baili was stunned, while Baili Mingxiang had long hurried to the opening. As soon as a fisheye was broken through, swarms of fish would go to congregate around the opening. Their numbers would only increase, not disperse!
Could it be…
Baili Mingxiang narrowly avoided falling to her feet by the fisheye’s edge. The original teeming swarms of fish was only left with a few bubbles from a handful of stray fish. Her pale face paled further as she threw herself against and stuck a hand towards the water, completely disregarding her body.
“Baili Mingxiang!” Han Yunxi cried as she rushed over and snatched her hand away. Water in the fisheyes were all close to freezing temperatures. Had the girl gone crazy? Was she throwing away her hand and her life? After pulling away Baili Mingxiang’s hand, she helped her up and off the ice. Baili Mingxiang allowed Han Yunxi to pull her along, her expression filled with despair as she muttered to herself.
“I was wrong…I was wrong… Esteemed wangfei, I’ve made a terrible blunder.”
General Baili rushed over as he shook his head in shock. “It’s a big fisheye. They’ve really found one!”
The legends had been true. As soon as a big fisheye was broken through, all of the fish in the Illusory Sea Lake would gather at the opening. Fish from small and medium fisheyes would be attracted to the larger hole, so anyone who controlled the big fisheye would capture all the fish there.
Meanwhile, one of their own fisherman called out, “Your Highness, esteemed wangfei! The fish are almost all gone! What do we do?”
Long Feiye glanced over with furrowed brows. At this moment, Jun Yixie’s laughter rang through the air. “Why aren’t you casting any more nets into that medium fisheye?”
“Perhaps His Highness Duke of Qin has abandoned it as being unworthy of his wealth. Tsk, tsk, what a pity,” Ouyang Ningruo said loudly.
“Haha, what else can he take if he doesn’t want that medium fisheye?” Jun Yixie laughed arrogantly. The two of them made a duet with their loud conversation so that everyone could hear their words. Obviously, they were provoking them. After finding a big fisheye, they purposely kept low-key until they lured away all the fish from the medium fisheye. Now they were relishing in their joke.
Long Feiye narrowed his eyes and said, “Baili Mingxiang, find a large fisheye for your lordship!” Since one existed, there had to be others. On the other hand, Baili Mingxiang knew that her skills were limited. Finding a big fisheye was a once in a lifetime chance; the fact that their opponents had found one had luck to blame as well. It would truly be very, very difficult for her to find a second big fisheye! Despite her lack of hope, she’d still do her best since His Highness Duke of Qin had said so!
I’ll give it my all even if I have to risk my life!
“Yes! Mingxiang obeys!” Baili Mingxiang did her utmost to ignore the cold and listlessness seeping through her entire body before returning anew to the icy lake. Very soon, she locked in on a spot and began to search. But she found nothing as time passed. Meanwhile, Jun Yixie’s group had already hauled in two nets’ worth of fish.
Long Feiye’s eyebrows furrowed even more while General Baili looked on impatiently. Han Yunxi, on the other hand, was more worried than anything else. If this kept on, Baili Mingxiang wouldn’t be able to take it. But she was their only hope at the moment–what a conundrum!
Even if the other side didn’t have the manpower to capture all the fish in the Illusory Sea Lake, all they had to do was gather the fish that came to the big fisheye to delay prospects in Tianning’s disaster areas. Before, they’d been competing with who would get the first big catch; now one side didn’t have a chance to capture any fish at all. Baili Mingxiang was getting anxious too. In place of her previous calm, she was brushing her fingers unceasingly against the ice, her thoughts in a mess. In the end, she pounded a fist against the lake, blaming herself in her anger as her heart filled with discontent. It made it impossible for her to calm down.
Long Feiye had noticed this and was about to speak up when Han Yunxi beat him to the chase. “General Baili, hurry and pull her back. It’s not worth it to endanger her body like this.”
Naturally, General Baili understood the implications of ‘it’s not worth it.’ Compared to saving the disaster regions, preserving the Beauty’s Blood was more important. Long Feiye remained silent in tacit agreement, so General Baili quickly went to get his daughter, but Baili Mingxiang refused to budge.
“Father, give me a little more time. I can take it.”
“His Highness let you go. You can’t force your body like this, you know that,” General Baili said helplessly.
Baili Mingxiang didn’t dare to look at Long Feiye or Han Yunxi. She clutched at General Baili’s hands. “Father, if I get up, His Highness will lose, both to Jun Yixie and the emperor. I can’t leave!”
“You need to understand the weight of these matters!” As a military man, General Baili was decisive and ruthless in his own way. He dragged Baili Mingxiang to her feet and ordered his guards, “Take young Miss to the fire for warmth. Watch her well!”
Baili Mingxiang had no way to resist. She dearly wished to speak as she passed by Long Feiye and Han Yunxi, but she lacked the strength to put her thoughts into words. An inexplicable desolation rose in her heart as she lowered her head in silence. She wasn’t the only one, as everyone with Long Feiye felt the same way. They stared at the prosperous harvest happening across the lake and felt stifled with anger.
Jun Yixie’s smugness reached its height when he saw Baili Mingxiang leave the lake. With the help of Ouyang Ningruo’s workers, his plans had proceeded very smoothly. He kicked a large fish weighing close to 10 jin1 in Long Feiye’s direction with a bark of laughter.
“Long Feiye, here’s your dinner! Your lord’s treat!”
Long Feiye’s knuckles cracked as he clenched his fists inside his sleeves. If not for the prohibitions against fighting in place on Fishery Island, he’d never endure such a slight. Since they couldn’t use fish to relieve the disaster regions anymore, he had to think of another solution.
Han Yunxi felt even more unresigned than Long Feiye. She wasn’t willing to pull out, but as she looked at the gaping mouth of the kicked fish, she suddenly recalled something…
- jin (斤) – traditional unit of weight approximating 0.5kg or 1lbs. ↩