Chapter 319: Let’s Go into the Water Together
Liu Tian'er tightened her grip on Liu Mei'er's hand when she heard what Broom Eyebrows Chen said. She opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out.
It was obvious that Su Junqing and Broom Eyebrows Chen were plotting against Senior Brother Yun Jiu. However, even if they spoke up and rejected Broom Eyebrows Chen's proposition, nothing would change. In fact, doing so would only arouse suspicion in Su Junqing.
As she sat next to the bonfire, Yun Jiuge's pale face was expressionless. Her eyelids were faintly red and dropping. She appeared to be oblivious to the fact that Su Junqing was picking on her.
"I'll tag along as well," Bing Xinlian suddenly piped up. His beautiful eyes were resolute.
Little Fatty hesitated for a moment before saying timidly, "T-Then I'll go as well!" His voice was as soft as a mosquito's hum.
Su Junqing furrowed his brow slightly. Bing Xinlian and Jin Lin might be secondary disciples, but they had meaningful connections within the inner sect.
If word got out that he had dispatched the two of them on a dangerous mission, the authorities within the inner sect, who were affiliated with them, might start despising Su Junqing.
He had to find a way to stop those two ‘troublemakers' from joining.
At that moment, Yun Jiuge opened her mouth to speak. "It's about quality, not quantity," she said. "The two of you need not follow."
"Senior Brother Yun Jiu!" Bing Xinlian exclaimed with a frown. How could Yun Jiuge not tell that Su Junqing was trying to set him up?
They must have laid a trap at Black Pond!
"When are we setting off?" Yun Jiuge asked and stared at Su Junqing.
She would have been more apprehensive if Su Junqing were joining them. However, it seemed like only Broom Eyebrows Chen and his underlings would be undertaking this task.
Those people were no match for her. She could kill each and every one of them in minutes.
"We will leave after 11 o'clock at night," Su Junqing returned with a smile. He was very pleased with how cooperative Yun Jiu was being.
"Okay," Yun Jiuge replied and nodded. Then she turned to Bing Xinlian and Little Fatty and declared, "I'm tired and want to rest for a moment. Go over there for a little while." Then, she found a spot to relax and close her eyes.
Bing Xinlian and Little Fatty exchanged glances, but neither of them knew what to say. In the end, they could only move aside as they'd been told.
Su Junqing tasked a few disciples with patrolling the area and keeping watch. The remaining disciples were told to rest up for the night.
It was an unbearably humid and windless night in the Secret Realm. The sky was cloudy, and the stars and moon were nowhere to be seen.
All of the disciples wore Insect Repelling Powder as they slept, but that did not stop the dark green mosquitoes from circling them. They buzzed as they flew around, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
A bite from the mosquitoes caused their victim's skin to swell and bleed. Once bitten, it would be tough for anyone to drift off to sleep.
The mosquitoes' constant pestering incredibly irritated Su Junqing.
He opened his eyes and glanced in the Liu Sisters' direction. But to his surprise, there was not a single mosquito in their vicinity. Puzzled, he immediately woke up Liu Tian'er by calling out to her, "Junior Sister Liu! Are the two of you using a different kind of Insect Repelling Powder?"
"No, we aren't. We are using the Insect Repelling Powder that the Sect gave us," Liu Tian'er replied, playing dumb.
How could she possibly tell Su Junqing that they were using a special kind of Insect Repelling Powder, refined specially by Senior Brother Yun Jiu?
"Senior Brother Su, how about you? Did you use up all of your Insect Repelling Powder? I still have some left. Why don't you take it?" Liu Mei'er offered as she pretended to wake up. Then, she handed Su Junqing the Insect Repelling Powder that the Sect had given out.
"There's no need," Su Junqing refused. He had a lot of that powder. However, it did not seem to be effective at repelling the mosquitoes and bugs that lived in the Secret Realm.
Su Junqing felt hugely annoyed when he thought about how much more fearsome the mosquitoes and bugs were going to be in the swamp. He wished that he could go over to Black Pond right now and gather the Black Crystal Reeds himself.
However, he had to restrain himself. He did not want to ruin his perfect plan.
He believed that Broom Eyebrows Chen and his gang would definitely be able to finish off Yun Jiu at Black Pond and successfully bring back the Black Crystal Reeds.
Su Junqing felt better as he thought about this. He decided that he was not going to sleep and sat up, waiting for the designated hour to arrive.
Yun Jiuge promptly woke up at 11. Many other disciples immediately woke up after her.
Bing Xinlian and Little Fatty nervously eyed Broom Eyebrows Chen and his gang.
Broom Eyebrows Chen and his four underlings stood in a circle around Su Junqing and asked, "Senior Brother Su, can you give us the pills now?"
"I want you to keep this map and these pills on you at all times," Su Junqing instructed. He fished out a map and a small white bottle then handed everything to Broom Eyebrows Chen.
"Senior Brother Su, you should not put all your eggs in one basket!" Little Fatty chided.
"Black Pond is so dangerous! If something happens to Senior Brother Chen, then we will not be able to bring back the Black Crystal Reeds," Little Fatty mumbled under his breath. He completely disregarded the aggressive look, which Broom Eyebrows Chen was sending his way.
"Indeed. You should distribute the pills now," seconded Bing Xinlian.
Su Junqing looked at the two of them before he smiled and said, "You two are right. Let's distribute the pills now!"
He poured the black pills out of their white bottle and into his palm. Then, he turned and explained to Broom Eyebrows Chen and the rest, "This Qi Condensation and Water Repelling Pill was specially refined by the Sect. It can mask the human scent and Qi. Not only that, but it also repels water and gives you better mobility when swimming underwater. Once you've taken them, you should be able to escape detection by the Fang Fishes."
"Thank you, Senior Brother Su," Broom Eyebrows Chen answered. Then, he went forward to receive his pill, and everyone else followed suit. Yun Jiuge was the last to accept a pill from Su Junqing.
"Junior Brother Yun Jiu, I want you to be extra careful during this mission. Everyone's lives rest on your shoulders," Su Junqing said gravely as he placed the black pill in Yun Jiuge's palm.
"Don't worry, Senior Brother Su. I will not disappoint you," answered Yun Jiuge earnestly.
"Alright. It's getting late. All of you should hurry along now!" Su Junqing said with a smile.
"Senior Brother Su, sit tight and wait for our good news!" Broom Eyebrows Chen offered Su Junqing the martial salute. They exchanged a quick, knowing glance before Broom Eyebrows Chen led everyone away from the valley.
Little Fatty, Bing Xinlian, and the Liu Sisters could not help but look on in worry as Yun Jiuge followed behind Broom Eyebrows Chen. They all left the valley behind quietly.
The group walked for around five miles before they came across a black body of water nestled between two slopes. They had finally reached Black Pond.
Black Pond was entirely off the beaten track. There was no grass growing here. There were birds or beasts around, either.
The color of the water was darker than the night sky, and the surface was deadly still. The pond gave off an incredibly eerie vibe.
Yun Jiuge, Broom Eyebrows Chen, and his underlings stood by the edge of the Black Pond.
"Junior Brother Yun Jiu! You should hurry up and take your pill now! The sooner we find the Black Crystal Reeds, the sooner we will be able to return and give the other disciples peace of mind. They must be worried sick about us right now," Broom Eyebrows Chen said in a serious tone.
Yun Jiuge slowly placed the black pill that Su Junqing had given her into her mouth as Broom Eyebrows Chen and his underlings watched anxiously. She then used her tongue to push the pill upward.
Broom Eyebrows Chen heaved a sigh after seeing Yun Jiuge take the pill. However, he did not show any signs of relief on his face. Instead, he pretended that nothing was amiss and instructed everyone, "Don't worry. The Fang Fish will definitely steer clear of us once we've taken our pills. We should hurry up and get into the water now. Let's try and get as many of the Black Crystal Reeds as we can."
When he had finished his pep talk, Broom Eyebrows Chen called out to Yun Jiuge, "Junior Brother Yun Jiu, you can go in first!" Their plan was to get rid of Yun Jiu underwater. If he refused to get into the pond, it would be troublesome.
"Let us go in together!" Yun Jiuge answered in a flat voice.
"Alright. Let's go in together, then!" Broom Eyebrows Chen nodded and replied without hesitation. He was the first to enter the pond.
"Let's go, Junior Brother Yun Jiu!" The other four disciples grinned as they stared at Yun Jiuge. It was clear that they wanted to get into the water after her.
Yun Jiuge did not say anything. She just walked directly into the Black Pond.
An evil glint flashed in the other four disciples' eyes as they followed Yun Jiuge into the water.