Chapter 61: Competition between women Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
With those thoughts, Han Yunxi felt much more comfortable. She quietly retreated to one side of the room and sat down, prepared to watch the proceedings. Your Highness Duke of Qin, chenqie will be awaiting your outstanding performance!
Pill Fiend had already given his orders, allowing Dunamu Baiye to give a derisive smirk. “Your Highness Duke of Qin, it’s just a chance to learn from one another. Don’t get too serious.”
He finished speaking to draw to one side as the room turned quiet. Everyone’s eyes rested on Long Feiye, both nervous and anticipatory. Long Feiye’s first action caught people off guard. His cold gaze rested on Duanmu Yao’s hand with an expression that showed his determination to win. Suddenly, his figure flashed and appeared by Duanmu Yao’s side.
This guy, he was really going to steal it!
Han Yunxi was shocked, but quickly recovered her senses. She really wanted to shout and cheer him on. Although she knew Long Feiye was just doing this to get the Life Blood Pill, it still made her happy. Who cared about what senior brother, junior sister business they had. She decided to forgive him for what had happened in Snake Gorge.
Neither Duanmu Baiye or Duanmu Yao had expected this turn of events. Duanmu Yao backed away in a flash, the corners of her eyes turning red. Senior Brother had never paid her any attention in the past, but that was only because his nature was cold. In all these years, he’d never tried to steal her things! Yet today he was willing to steal for Han Yunxi. To steal her item and give it to Han Yunxi!
Duanmu Yao couldn’t accept this reality. She gave Han Yunxi a hateful glare, wishing she could go over and tear that woman apart.
Duanmu Baiye’s voice was furious. “Long Feiye, are you really stealing a woman’s things?”
“The thing doesn’t belong to her!” Long Feiye retorted aggressively.
Duanmu Baiye was left awkward and speechless while Duanmu Yao was stifled with rage as she glanced at Long Feiye. She hid the Seven Stars Caterpillar Grass in her robes, immediately sticking out her chest as she sucked in her stomach. “Senior Brother, it’s rare for us to have a chance to cross swords. If you want to steal it, then come!” she said fearlessly.
Suddenly the room grew quiet before Pill Fiend gave a hearty laugh. The sound was both dark and strange, sounding ancient in one moment and clear and bright the next. It flooded the entire room.
“Good! Good! An excellent idea, hahahah!”
Han Yunxi watched as her mouth kept twitching. Duanmu Yao, you’re plenty fierce. Do you still want to leave yourself any face?!
A man’s base tactics couldn’t compare to a woman’s! Long Feiye’s face darkened, his eyes filled with loathing as both parties came to a deadlock. In the wake of His Excellency Pill Fiend’s laughter, the room grew silent again.
Sitting above them all, Pill Fiend was extremely happy. It had been a long, long time since Pill Fiend Valley had turned so lively. His eyes swept over the assembled crowd before finally resting on Han Yunxi and narrowing in thought. Everyone was standing in a deadlock, but this woman was interesting. She’d decided to sit and watch, much like him.
Thus, Pill Fiend opened his mouth and spoke in a leisurely tone, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, it’s more fitting for a woman to steal from a woman.”
These words were undoubtedly targeting Han Yunxi, who looked at Pill Fiend with wide eyes. What did this old guy want to do?
Duanmu Baiye and Duanmu Yao both looked at Han Yunxi, only now realizing that she was sitting leisurely on one side. Seeing her so carefree made Duanmu Yao even more angry. Who did she think she was?! Duanmu Yao had long witnessed how much of a useless coward Han Yunxi was in Snake Gorge. She didn’t want to fight with Senior Brother in the first place, so now Pill Fiend had offered up a good idea.
With a smirk, Duanmu Yao spoke. “Han Yunxi, if it’s something you want, steal it yourself. This princess will yield three moves to you.”
Her words had hardly landed before Long Feiye said mildly, “Your Excellency Pill Fiend, she doesn’t know martial arts.”
“Doesn’t know martial arts?” Pill Fiend was a bit skeptical. How could a woman be so calm and free to sit around if she didn’t know how to fight?
Duanmu Yao had no idea why Long Feiye really wanted the Life Blood Pill. Seeing how protective he was, her two eyes seemed to ooze with poisonous intent. “If she’s incapable, then she shouldn’t make a disgrace of herself.”
Han Yunxi was pretty satisfied with Long Feiye’s actions. At the very least, they stood on the same side. Seeing Duanmu Yao running rampant, she didn’t lose her cool but slowly rose, feigning a miserable countenance. “Your Excellency Pill Fiend, how crude it is for women to come to blows! Furthermore, I don’t know martial arts, so why don’t we compete with something else?”
Pill Fiend didn’t get a chance to answer before Duanmu Yao butted in. “Han Yunxi, what do you mean? Who are you calling crude?”
“Of course it’s whoever’s taking offense,” Han Yunxi said carelessly. Duanmu Yao was about to erupt but Han Yunxi kept talking. “The stately Western Zhou princess whose name is known throughout her country is accomplished in the arts, martial prowess, and appearances. Her self-cultivation and accomplishments must be excellent, so how could she be crude?”
The second half of those words left Duanmu Yao with no words to say. No matter how angry she was, she could only choke it back into her heart. Duanmu Yao’s eyes narrowed; despite her rage, a flicker of admiration passed through her pupils. This woman didn’t know martial arts but was more formidable than one who did! Long Feiye’s lips quirked up, while Pill Fiend burst into laughter, thoroughly enjoying this bout.
Unable to vent her temper, Duanmu Yao could only take a few deep breaths before she calmed herself down. “All right, Han Yunxi. This princess agrees. Whatever we compete in, you can choose.”
Han Yunxi was right. She was one of Cloud Realm Continent’s famous talented woman, gifted in the arts, martial prowess, and appearances. Weak woman only competed in things like qin playing, chess, calligraphy and so on. She’d won all these things since she was young, so how could a small fry like Han Yunxi, unfavored wife that she was, win in comparison?
Han Yunxi frowned slightly. “To make things fair, we should have His Excellency Pill Fiend decide on the competition.”
Naturally, Pill Fiend agreed. No matter who won or lost, he’d still get two treasures, and watching women struggle was much better than watching men.
“Excellent, that’s how it’ll be!” he gave another weird laugh in excitement. “Your excellency will decide the topic. You’ll compete in…”
He stopped here. What to compete?
Pill Fiend fell silent. After getting used to that strange laugh, Han Yunxi felt that this silence was much more frightening. Though she was far away from him, she could still feel a terrifying and mysterious aura emanating from his being. Heaven knows what kind of freakish, horrific topic he’d choose?
Duanmu Yao raised her chin to gaze provokingly at Han Yunxi, determined to win. She was in an aggressive mood. No matter what the topic was, she had to showcase herself before Senior Brother today and thoroughly humiliate this ‘Qin Wangfei.’
Though Han Yunxi had no confidence, competing in anything was better than sparring. Her strength was much less than Duanmu Yao’s. She didn’t lose her disposition and raised an eyebrow to stare back. So what if she was a princess? She could sort out the princess of her own country, much less one from a bordering nation.
After a long time, Pill Fiend slowly raised his head. “Your excellency’s thought it through!”
Immediately, everyone looked over to see him in a great mood, laughing eerily. “Hunting for medicinal ingredients! The two of you can compete in plant hunting!”
Hunting for medicinal ingredients?
“What kind of medicine? How do we hunt for them?” Duanmu Yao was doubtful. This was beyond her expectations.
“Your excellency will provide a prescription and a book of pictures of medicinal plants. You two can search the entire Pill Fiend Valley for the plants. Whoever gathers up all of them first wins.” Pill Fiend said smugly, very satisfied with his idea.
Duanmu Yao did some mental calculations. She didn’t understand anything about medicine, but what about Han Yunxi?
This woman was the useless trash of the Han family, though news of her becoming a divine doctor had drifted out from Tianning’s capital. Duanmu Yao still didn’t believe it, thinking that Han Yunxi had spread the rumors herself. Otherwise, why would she refuse to treat all the people who’d gathered at her house?
So Han Yunxi should be just like her, ignorant of any and all medicinal plants.
If that was the case, she’d be in the superior position. Pill Fiend Valley was so big that it’d take massive effort to search through the whole place for plants. A glance at Han Yunxi’s frail body convinced her that the woman couldn’t take the strain. Even if she could, her speed would pale in comparison!
Here Duanmu Yao immediately spoke up in a flattering tone. “His Excellency Pill Fiend truly is venerable. Even the topics he picks are different from everyone else. Though, I don’t know if anyone else can help us search for the plants?”
“Since it’s a competition between the two of you, outside help is naturally forbidden,” Pill Fiend replied.
These words gave Duanmu Yao even more confidence. Without Long Feiye’s help, how far could Han Yunxi walk on those pair of legs? And how quickly? She could easily fly a distance that would take Han Yunxi half a day to walk.
“Your Excellency Pill Fiend, I agree to this competition!” Duanmu Yao was delighted.
Pill Fiend was very satisfied and looked towards Han Yunxi. “Qin Wangfei, what about you?”
“It’s a bit difficult…” Han Yunxi admitted with a sigh.
“You could admit defeat now,” Duanmu Yao sneered immediately.
But Han Yunxi only said earnestly, “Although it’s a little hard, I was still born from a medical family. To compete in hunting for medicinal plants, wouldn’t Princess Changle think it’s unfair?”
Duanmu Yao gave a mocking laugh and said under her breath, “I hear you’re the first useless trash in Han family history, how pitiful! It’s no harm if this princess yields to you a bit.”
“In other words, Princess Changle thinks this competition is very fair?” Han Yunxi asked again.
Duanmu Baiye felt that something wasn’t right and wanted to speak, but Duanmu Yao had ulterior motives. Afraid that Han Yunxi would try to change the topic, she impatiently said, “Very fair. If you agree, then we’ll start right now.”
Han Yunxi looked completely helpless as she nodded her head. “All right.”
All right…if someone wanted to invite a snub, what could she do? Han Yunxi wouldn’t tell Duanmu Yao that she spent part of her studies in traditional Chinese medicine training to hunt for plants in the mountains!
The growth, habits, and properties of medicinal plants were all different. They grew in different places, and while some plants grew in clusters, other would never grow together. As long as one was familiar with the characteristics of these plants and rules of their growth, you could give her an entire valley–nay, an entire mountain–and she’d still find the ingredients quickly! She depended on such skills to earn her meals, so why wouldn’t she know her strengths?
Hearing Han Yunxi agree made Duanmu Yao smile. She couldn’t wait to see Han Yunxi lose the Life Blood Pill for Long Feiye.
“Very good, then don’t regret what you’ve agreed to. If you do, your excellency will be very unhappy!” Pill Fiend’s laughter sounded like he was joking, but it was also a warning. Only then did he lazily rise to his feet and walk gracefully to a table to write out a prescription.
With so many plants in Pill Fiend Valley, what kind of prescription would he choose?
Original Chapter Teaser:
Duanmu Yao: Han Yunxi, you’re holding your sword wrong.
Han Yunxi: Like I said, I don’t know martial arts.
Duanmu Yao: Then isn’t this just pointless?
Han Yunxi: Point.
Duanmu Yao: What?
Han Yunxi: You have a point and I have a point.
*waves around sword*
Han Yunxi: That’s not pointless at all!
Duanmu Yao: …