Chapter 21: Duped: A Dangerous Situation
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Stop stepping, stop stepping!” That short, stout man begged with agonizing cries, “I’ll tell you everything, okay?”
Ye Jiuge’s right leg hovered on his shank as she bent down and said, “Speak. I’m listening!”
“Shopkeeper Jin from the medicinal store was…the one who asked us to follow you. He wanted to use unscrupulous means to intimidate you into submission!” the short, stout man confessed with a trembling voice.
“You still dare to lie to me?” Ye Jiuge raised her eyebrow.
BaiCao Hall had conducted business in the capital for so many years, so why would they mar their reputation over one stalk of spiritual herbs? It was obvious that someone else was threatening him behind the scenes.
“I am not lying to you. I am telling the truth!” the short, stout martial artist insisted.
“Ha-ha!” Ye Jiuge’s right leg stepped on him forcefully.
Ka ca, ka ca!
Two perfect sections.
The short, stout man fainted from the pain.
“Who is next? Inform me in advance how many sections you would like your bones broken into. If you speak up too late, I will not entertain any requests!” Ye Jiuge turned around and flashed a mesmerizing smile towards the two remaining martial artists.
“I’ll talk, I’ll talk!”
It was clear that the two remaining men were not as upright as the short, stout martial artist. They instantly betrayed the instigator, the one behind all this. “It was the Crown Prince who commanded us to keep an eye on the medicinal stores. When someone purchased Violets of the Netherworld, we were supposed to go after them.”
The Crown Prince?
Ye Jiuge raised her eyebrow. Why would her ex-fiancé suddenly be so concerned about Violets of the Netherworld? Don’t tell me that, because the Crown Prince was attracted to the male slave’s beauty and harbored an illicit interest towards him, the slave had fled!
Of course, that was very unlikely. There was a better possibility that the male slave possessed something vital to the Crown Prince.
It seems that, this time, I have acquired a treasure.
Ye Jiuge’s mood improved, so she spared the lives of the three martial artists. She stealthily returned to the Zhilin Residence in the Ye Residence.
The male slave had just regained consciousness. As soon as he noticed her, his expression immediately turned cold.
“Beautiful little man, come. Smile for me. If it makes me happy, perhaps I will be generous and spare your life.” When Ye Jiuge saw his expression, she could not stop herself from teasing him.
“…” The male slave’s expression remained the same. However, intense hatred flitted past his eyes.
“All right. I will stop yanking your chain. Now, let us discuss important matters.” Ye Jiuge lost her playfulness and asked seriously, “Are you aware what kind of poison is in your body?”
“…” The male slave did not reply.
“It is the demonic poison, Soul Departure. It is unique to a third stage demonic beast, the Serpent of Departed Soul. Those who are poisoned with it become completely debilitated. Their spiritual energy is suppressed, and they are unconscious most of the time. Within seven days, they die.”
Ye Jiuge paused for a moment. Afterward, she continued, “Based on your condition, I feel that you have four days left to live, at most. What do you think about this?”
The male slave’s eyes contracted slightly. His beautiful red lips flattened into a straight line.
“To neutralize this poison, you need Violets of the Netherworld. However, when I visited the medicinal store today, I heard that the Crown Prince had snapped up all the stalks in town. Not only that, but he was also investigating individuals who have purchased Violets of the Netherworld.”
As Ye Jiuge spoke, she observed the male slave’s reaction. His brows furrowed slightly; he seemed to be deep in thought. She could not sense any animosity in him when she’d spoken about the Crown Prince.
Since there was no grudge between him and the Crown Prince, why was the Crown Prince so interested in him?
The cogs in Ye Jiuge’s brain turned. Suddenly, she recalled that soldiers were searching the streets for the Su Clan’s escaped slave. Immediately, the words spilled out of her mouth, “You are the Su Clan’s escaped slave?”
When the male slave heard the words “Su Clan,” deep-rooted hatred immediately shone in his dark eyes. His fingers balled tightly into fists. It was evident that Ye Jiuge had just poured salt on a wound.
“Great. Now, we can be friends.” Ye Jiuge smiled with satisfaction.
Puzzled, the male slave looked at her.
“Do you not recognize me?” Ye Jiuge asked.
The male slave shook his head hesitantly.
“Then let me formally introduce myself to you. I am Ye Jiuge, the ex-fiancé of the Crown Prince and Su Yufeng’s stepdaughter. Do you find these two pieces of information acceptable?”
Ye Jiuge wiped away the foundation powder and revealed her real face, disfigured with scars. She smiled as she said, “I thought that my ruined reputation had already spread throughout the entire capital. I never thought that there was someone left who still did not recognize me.”
After staring at Ye Jiuge’s face for a long time, the male slave nodded. His red lips moved slightly as he spoke wordlessly, “Friends.”
“Since you have placed so much good faith in me, I will be kind and help you neutralize the poison!”
Ye Jiuge retrieved the stalk of Violets of the Netherworld from her sleeve and said with a smile, “This spiritual herb cost two thousand silver taels. I will charge you one thousand silver taels to produce the elixir. Additionally, when I purchased you, I spent three thousand silver taels. That amounts to six thousand silver taels. If you do not repay me, you will have to be my slave for the rest of your life. If you agree, nod your head.”
“Little Jiuge, I never realized how wicked you are!” Suddenly, Zi Shang felt slight pity for the male slave.
“If you are not wicked, then you should help him repay his debt. I will give you a ten percent discount, which makes it five thousand and five hundred. What do you think?” Ye Jiuge replied.
Immediately, Zi Shang stopped speaking. If that was the case, it was better for him to let Ye Jiuge double-cross others.
The male slave’s eyes locked on her. It was as if he was telling her that she was not proposing a fair deal.
“If you feel that your life is not worth six thousand silver taels, then forget it. After you walk out, turn left. I won’t be seeing you out. Farewell!” Ye Jiuge placed the spiritual herb back into her sleeve.
The male slave gritted his teeth and nodded his head fiercely.
“Wise men adapt to their circumstances. I admire intelligent people. All right, I will produce the elixir now. Be good and wait for me here.”
Pleased, Ye Jiuge left the room.
Ye Yuxuan had always claimed that the Ye Clan was a proper clan of Spiritual Elixir Alchemists, so he had built an Elixir Production Room in each of his son’s and daughter’s residences, including the Zhilin Residence. However, this Elixir Production Room was tiny, and its Elixir Production Furnace was of a most inferior quality.
“Luckily, these Violets of the Netherworld are not difficult to distill. Otherwise, so late at night, I would not know where to find an Elixir Production Room.”
Ye Jiuge ignited a flame with her deft hands.
As the herb that grew alongside the Serpent of Departed Soul, even if Violets of the Netherworld were eaten raw, they could neutralize the poison, Soul Departure.
However, the male slave had been poisoned for far too long. If he ate them raw, they would not be beneficial, so she needed to distill the herb into an essence.
Ye Jiuge placed the Violets of the Netherworld into the Elixir Production Furnace. She started the distillation process, controlling the flame with practiced ease.
In front of her eyes, the high temperature slowly dissolved the abundant stalk of purple spiritual herbs. In the end, it was distilled into a purple medicinal liquid.
“Strange.” Ye Jiuge furrowed her eyebrows. She recalled that the medicinal liquid distilled from Violets of the Netherworld should be purplish-black. Why was it such a faint purple?
Given the quality of these Violets of the Netherworld, this kind of situation should not occur!
She leaned in closer to the Elixir Production Furnace to observe it more clearly and discovered that the distilled essence had deficient medicinal properties. Even if one consumed it, it would not wholly neutralize the poison.
Could it be that this stalk of spiritual herb was problematic?
At this time, the purple imprint on her wrist suddenly emanated a purple glow and enveloped the medicinal liquid.
“You have fallen into someone’s trap. They have applied the Fragrance of a Thousand Miles to this stalk of Violets of the Netherworld,” Zi Shang told her gravely.
The Fragrance of a Thousand Miles! Its scent could be distinguished by a pursuer from a thousand miles away!
Ye Jiuge’s eyes widened considerably. If she could not think of an idea to dispose of this medicinal liquid, the male slave’s identity would be exposed—as would her own.
Meanwhile, at that moment, at the Demonic Beast Enclosure in the Crown Prince’s residence, a large jet black butterfly gently fluttered its wings and flew away softly.
“Follow it. You must bring the person back,” Dongfang Jianming, the Crown Prince, said with a sinister expression.