Before blood could spill, Yun Da Xia crafted a barrier of air around the daggers' blades. A slight flash of red shone on the steel before disappearing. She hoped that the man atop her mistook it as glare from the sun.
'Don't charge at him. Break into his mind and make him collapse. If you can't, make your sister do it.' Her clipped words echoed in Little Ju's mind. The wolf was prepared to reply in affirmative before a crash interrupted its train of thought. A dark mass of fur was a heap on the ground. Little Yan let out a whine; foam dribbling from her mouth.
"Pretty impressive. Most spirit beasts usually collapse after a few seconds," the man grunted. His dark eyes never left Yun Da Xia's. "I poured poison into her mouth while she carried me. If you want the antidote, just answer my questions and make sure he's a good boy." He nodded towards Little Ju.
The beast in question roared its displeasure. Sharp fangs gleamed as it snarled; ready to charge towards the man who poisoned its sister.
"She'll need to be given the antidote in an hour or else." The man reminded. Yun Da Xia clenched her jaw; wondering what his identity was.
'Calm down. I'll handle it.' She ordered Little Ju. He snapped his jaws in response. Without another option, she sent the two wolves inside the inter spacial ring. She'd get revenge for her spiritual beast, but first, she needed to get all the information she could out of this person.
The man looked up in surprise as he noticed that the growls and snarls had disappeared. Only the two of them remained in the underbrush. "Where did they go?" He asked the woman beneath him; thumbing the handle of the foreign daggers in his hand. They were shaped strangely–so unlike the ones he used to own. His finger inched higher; close to the blade.
After a moment, his eyes widened ever so slightly.
Yun Da Xia curled her lip, "You don't need to know."
"Then tell me what I do need to know. How do you know about the poison?" He was unyielding.
She debated her words. There was no way she could say that she had read his pulse. "Masiura leaves are known antidotes. It's the most logical conjecture there is." Truthfully, she had no idea if the people from these times knew of the medicinal property of the plant for piei tree poison.
He nodded slowly. "I don't think," he pressed the knife against her throat, "it's that simple."
No blood colored the blade even as he pressed deeper. A knowing smile adorned his face. Her breath hitched.
"It seems like what people know about you is unreliable. You can cultivate." His fingers moved to her hair; brushing the dark strands 'till he held crimson between his index and middle. "And I've never heard of the general's daughter having red hair."
She wasn't surprised to know that he knew who she was. Called out; Yun Da Xia didn't bother to hide her ability.
With a twitch of her finger, two bands of red encircled the man's wrists; dragging him off of her. An expletive of protest escaped his mouth, and the two daggers disappeared from his hands. He groaned loudly as his back hit a tree. Despite his struggling, he couldn't move his arms. "We're clearly on the same side." His disgruntled voice called out to the woman idly brushing dirt off her already irrecoverable robe.
She sniffed, "Didn't you just hold a knife to my throat?"
"Didn't you do it first?"
A dagger reappeared in her hand. Under her footfalls, the crunch of leaves echoed her closing the distance between them. She didn't bring out the knife to threaten him; she was sure he wouldn't yield. With a quick motion, all the hair on her head became a uniform shade of midnight. Crimson strands settled on the forest floor.
She looked down at him, "Give me the antidote."
"Why should I?" His lips curved up into a smile.
"You don't have another choice." She shrugged.
The man let out a laugh, "Open up my robe. Get the blue bottle."
Without reservations, Yan Da Xia methodically removed his robe and dug around his inner layers. Both of them were unbothered by his state of undress. She frowned a little as she felt through his clothing; searching for the antidote. Her eyes flickered upwards to the man's cheekbones. They were well-defined, perhaps bordering on the edge of being gaunt.
"This is the one?" She pulled away from her thoughts and showcased a blue-tinted glass vial. He glanced and nodded, "Since I've been so compliant, can you loosen these a bit?" He tugged against the bonds that kept him locked against the tree. Yun Da Xia ignored him; wafting the fragrance of the bottle's contents. Once she was certain that there was nothing harmful, she slipped it into her inter spacial ring. The entity within the space would make up for Little Ju's lack of opposable thumbs.
She directed her gaze back to the man's handsome face; trying to recall any of the gossips she had endured listening to. Seeing as how people loved to talk about the third prince's face, then there should have been talks about this man who was the embodiment of a calamitous beauty.
But no name came to mind.
"Who are you?" She demanded; brows creased.
The man leaned back against the tree as if he were on a relaxing vacation. He may have shown some combative skill with his quick way of disarming her, but against her cultivation, he should be helpless. Where his arrogance came from, Yun Da Xia didn't know; it was that uncertainty that put her on edge around him.
"I'm your newest ally." The corner of his lips tugged up. "I apologize for being so aggressive, by the way. I realized my mistake when I saw that you could cultivate. Even if you had deferred to their side, they wouldn't have given you the antidote. Zhan Wu Ting would have fed you promises until your death."
Her fingers twitched at the name he dangled in front of her. It wasn't surprising to hear of that clan's involvement. They were few families that could have the guts to attack the general's people, and they were obvious political adversaries. It seemed that it was inevitable that she would need to deal with the Zhan family as her father's daughter. If her memory served her right, Zhan Wu Ting was the current prime minister of the kingdom. He didn't hold the same prestige as his second brother, Zhan Fe, but his position was unshakeable since his daughter was the one standing by the Emperor's side.
Yun Da Xia shook her head. Later, she would need to delve in deeper to the intricacies of those relationships. She shot the man a look, "You didn't answer my question. I have no reason to have you as my ally. At the end of the day, I don't have any reason to keep you alive, so talk."
He looked at her with smiling eyes, "Pull up my right sleeve."
"What has that have to do with anything?"
"Just look and you'll understand." He insisted.
She didn't move any closer. Instead, bits of red pulled at the cuff of his robes and tugged. As his forearm was revealed, her sharp eyes caught the raised scar tissue marring his skin.
It wasn't just simple scarring from a wound or accident. She could make out deliberate characters carved onto his flesh.
The word was branded onto him like cattle.
"My name's Zhan Tian." His voice broke her stare.
Her gaze met his. She had never heard that name before.
A cold smile graced his face, "And if anyone want's the Zhan family dead, then that would be me."
hello to you all! i apologise for not updating in so long. unfortunately, updates may end up being about 2-3 times a week instead because ive begun reviewing for college oof. so id say give yalls powerstones to another book instead hehe. im thinking of maybe starting a discord to update you all since there isn't really an update feature on webnovel. thoughts?
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