Chapter 540: Obtaining a piece of evidence Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Since Lady Lianxin had already revealed her hidden ace, she was unlikely to make any concessions now. But Han Yunxi and Long Feiye had finally trampled the Mu Clan to its last legs, so neither of them wanted to back off, either.
“And we still have to save Mu Linger as well. This is all a bit complicated.” Han Yunxi creased her brows. With Mu Linger stuck in the middle, things were troublesome.
Gu Qishao only laughed disdainfully as he rose to leave. “Just wait, this old man will go have a chat with Lady Lianxin.”
Han Yunxi could very well imagine what kind of chat Gu Qishao was planning to have with Lady Lianxin. Without a doubt, he was going to prod the woman about all her affairs at the medical academy. She was about to stop him when Long Feiye suddenly stuck out a foot and almost tripped Gu Qishao. “Don’t forget, those with bare feet won’t fear those who wear shoes!”
The Mu Clan had already reached the point of no return. Lady Lianxin had only come to seek them out because she’d thrown her all into the fight. Things reversed when pushed to the extremes, so if they forced her any further, Lady Lianxin might choose to expose Han Yunxi’s identity instead. Then both sides would suffer the consequences. Once news spread that Han Yunxi’s father was from the Poison Sect, she’d have no end of troubles.
“Long Feiye, what if you give old Wang a head’s up to delay the trial by a few days?” Han Yunxi asked. They dearly needed to cooperate for this.
Before Long Feiye could answer, Chu Xifeng entered with the latest news from Wang Gong. “Esteemed wangfei, Xie Deyi requests an audience with you. He says he has something you’ll all be very interested in.”
Long Feiye seemed to recall something as his gaze grew shrewd. “Backup plan!”
When Han Yunxi, Long Feiye, and His Excellency Pill Fiend all showed up simultaneously before Xie Deyi, the man was completely and utterly bewildered. His Highness Duke of Qin hadn’t even received an invitation to the Grand Medicine Testing Convention, so how did he get here so fast?
Of course, now wasn’t the time for that. After suffering such a blow, then undergoing the Wang Clan’s private interrogation, the formerly vigorous old man was but a dying shell of his former self, dispirited and ancient. His only hope now lie in him giving his all to save the Xie Clan.
After being Head Elder for so many years, he knew better than anyone else that avoiding taboos were pointless now. He quickly got to the point. “Qin Wangfei, this old man has absolute proof that Mu Linger and the Hundreds Poisons Sect aren’t connected whatsoever. If you can agree to one request from this old man, I’ll offer up the evidence right away.”
“Ouyang Ningnuo?” Han Yunxi guessed that this conversation would involve Mu Linger, but she had never expected actual, physical evidence to be available for negotiations.
Xie Deyi nodded at the name. Admitting that Ouyang Ningnuo was the one who provided the Poison Roundworm was still a big step away from showing actual evidence of the deal itself. Han Yunxi was delighted. This is akin to having someone deliver you a pillow while you slept! She now had a vague idea of how to deal with Lady Lianxin as well, and asked, “What do you want this wangfei to do?”
“Esteemed wangfei, this old man knows that esteemed wangfei holds a grudge for Mu Linger’s matter. That was all this old man’s idea, so I ask that you not extend the grudge to the entire Xie Clan.” Xie Deyi’s tone grew somber. “There are about 300 total members in the Xie Clan, most of whom are innocent. I ask that they be given a second chance. If they’re completely forbidden from participating in future competitions, many of their lives will be completely ruined!”
Although the trial had yet to begin, fourth elder had already spread word of the Xie Clan’s cheating ways and how they were barred from all rights to future competitions. Medicine City held multiple such competitions within its walls, both large and small. Aside from the Grand Medicine Testing Convention, many competitors found their first chances to learn and improve from other similar contests. If they didn’t even have the right to participate in any contest, then they’d be hard-pressed to make a name for themselves no matter how talented or hard-working they were.
“Elder Xie, you should know the real reason why the Xie Clan’s been banned from any competitions in the future. Asking me for help is useless,” Han Yunxi intoned. It had nothing to do with Mu Linger’s issue—who could ever tolerate cheating after it had been exposed?
“Esteemed wangfei, besides this matter, you can kill or plunder the Xie Clan as you like! Of all the three great clans in Medicine City, the Xie Clan disciples study and work the hardest. They get up in the middle of the night and spend their entire days in the pharmacies. Even after five to ten years, their drive is as strong as the first day they start. They’re all innocent in this matter!” Xie Deyi said sorrowfully.
But behind Han Yunxi, Long Feiye and Gu Qishao were both wearing cold smiles devoid of pity. Han Yunxi stepped forward to sit on the ground in front of Xie Deyi, looking carefully into his eyes.
“Elder Xie, you say that the Xie Clan disciples get up in the middle of the night to study, but do you know that the Wang Clan disciples only go to bed when it’s the middle of the night? Your Xie Clan disciples study and work hard, but isn’t that the same for any aspiring member of the Wang, Mu, or various other clans in Medicine City who wants to make a name for themselves? Of all the branches of knowledge in the world, medicine and medical science require the hardest work, but it also has the least tolerance for carelessness! How could a field that holds human lives in the balance allow even a hint of fraud or corruption? If a child like Xie Peng became famous after this time’s competition, how many more patients would he cheat in the future?”
Cloud Realm Continent’s medical community was already corrupt, especially when it involved massive profits. Over the past few years, a great number of so-called ‘master pharmacists’ had emerged out of the fold with ‘miracle medicine’ to match. Though few successfully sold at their exorbitant prices, many patients still suffered as a result. A little child like Xie Peng already had no qualms about cheating to win a competition and had such an arrogant, brazen personality. He’d be a scourge to everyone if he grew up like that!
Han Yunxi’s tone was strict, her words demanding an explanation. Faced with her chilly stare, Xie Deyi was so ashamed that he hung his head and fell speechless. After a long stretch of silence, Han Yunxi’s eyes flickered with a complex expression before she stated, “It’s not impossible to lift the ban, however…”
Hearing this, Xie Deyi’s head whipped up, his eyes glimmering with hope.
“If your Xie Clan can truly repent and mend their ways, perhaps we can lighten the penalty. After a few years, their good behavior can earn them a probation period,” Han Yunxi continued.
“How many years?!” Xie Deyi asked quickly.
Han Yunxi hesitated before she said, “Ten years.”
A decade was enough to limit the Xie Clan without holding back its innocent disciples too harshly. Xie Deyi was far more clear-minded than Lady Lianxin and immediately handed over a portion of poison. “Esteemed wangfei, the former prison guards Chen Jia and Li Wei can act as eyewitnesses. This medicine came from Ouyang Ningnuo.”
Although the Xie Clan would still have to bear the crime of smearing Mu Linger’s name, it was still worth it to change their permanent ban from competitions into 10 years instead.
Han Yunxi rejoiced. With this, we can protect Mu Linger. I can also give it my all to discuss terms with Lady Lianxin! By the time the trio left the prisons, it was already daylight.
The Council of Elders would start their trial before noon. The prisons were close to Lady Lianxin’s living quarters, but Han Yunxi was in no rush to see her just yet. She went to visit Mu Linger instead. When they reached the girl’s cell, Long Feiye simply crossed his arms to lean against the wall with his eyes closed.
“Not going in?” Han Yunxi posed the question to Gu Qishao, who narrowed his eyes at the door.
“Hasn’t this old man spent enough time waiting in there?”
Han Yunxi guessed that he must have spent his days stooped in the jail cell after he showed up unharmed after the convention. She laughed out loud and entered the room herself. Despite being laughed at, Gu Qishao’s mood improved vastly at the sound. He started humming a tune to himself as he leapt into a tree to sit and wait! Long Feiye cracked open one eye to glance at him before silently closing it again.
Inside the cell, Han Yunxi was planning to give Mu Linger a surprise by keeping quiet. She personally unlocked the door and opened it, but Mu Linger didn’t react. The girl sat on the icy ground with her back facing the entrance, her lonely figure seeming even more tiny in the darkened room. Han Yunxi felt an unexplainable unease at the sight. Her heart trembled, but she didn’t show it on her face.
Instead, she leaned lazily against the doorframe and said in a mocking tone, “It’s only been a few days, but you’re already like this. So unreasonable!”
Mu Linger gave a start before she turned around. “Han Yunxi!”
Han Yunxi darted a glance at the untouched tray of hot food, then snorted. “Don’t think I came to save you. I have terms.”
Mu Linger’s thoughts screeched to a halt at her first sentence before she raged, “You’re the one who’s unreasonable! This girl was simply too lazy to move!” As she explained, she hastily straightened out her hair and clothes while wiping a hand across her face. Her large, bright eyes had rekindled with spirit once more.
Silently chuckling to herself, Han Yunxi maintained her high-and-mighty attitude to shoot her a disdainful look. “Answer a few questions for me and I’ll restore your innocence, how about it?”
“Ask as much as you like!” Mu Linger said heroically. But Han Yunxi’s first query gave her a shock.
“Does the Mu Clan have hidden secret prescriptions?” Han Yunxi asked.
“What do you want to do?” Mu Linger grew serious. The so called ‘secret prescriptions’ meant secret formulas that weren’t available to the public eye. Every clan’s top-tier pharmacists worked together to create them and only sold the final product. They’d never share the ingredients to create them. Half of these prescriptions usually required extremely rare ingredients, so it was uncommon to see them in use. One could say that such things were considered the most valuable treasures of any medicine family, perhaps even the source of the medical community’s confidence and poise.
“Publicize them. This is the punishment for the Mu Clan.” Han Yunxi was frank and open with her words. She didn’t hide anything, yet Mu Linger didn’t even care. She even answered questions that Han Yunxi had yet to ask.
Mu Linger said, “The Mu Clan has a total of 25 secret formulas, of which 20 are available for public purchase. Five more are kept for use in reserve. The Mu Clan’s medicine fields, both public and private, combine to make up exactly 3,000 mu of land.”
Han Yunxi was only going to ask her about those two things, so she simply grinned and said, “Just wait, you’ll definitely get your freedom before nightfall today!” It was clear that she had no plans to let the Mu Clan off lightly.
Mu Linger didn’t speak, but after Han Yunxi had re-locked the cell door, she let out a heavy breath. She wasn’t remorseful at all after exposing the Mu Clan’s secret. Instead, she felt lighter than before. Although she’d committed treason, she knew she wasn’t in the wrong! In fact, she was even looking forward to a fresh start once she was free.
After Han Yunxi left the prisons, Long Feiye walked over to meet her. “Did you get your answers?”
Han Yunxi knew she could never hide anything from him. She smiled and nodded, but Gu Qishao was perplexed. “What did you ask?”
Long Feiye cast him a scornful look, immediately quashing any sense of curiosity in Gu Qishao whatsoever. Actually, Gu Qishao wasn’t an idiot, but simply an uncomplicated man. He loved what he loved and hated what he hated. Debts of kindness were one thing, while plots of revenge were another. He was very clear on what he adored versus what he despised and acted based on his feelings. He disliked worrying about too many things and was too lazy to think too deeply into others.
Now that Han Yunxi had made all her preparations, she finally went to make an appointment with Lady Lianxin to talk.
But would Han Yunxi really spare Mu Yingdong for the sake of the Ten-Thousand Year old Blood Jade?