192 Chapter 192 Ugly
It took one week for Gu Kei to fully recover her health and internal energy. She felt guilty because of it and constantly asked for Lin Xulian's forgiveness. She didn't expect it as well. Back in the Qiangdu, they usually experience this when having a duel or tournament during their training starting at the age of ten. But they can recover in less than a day. Unfortunately, the energy outside the country is too scarce for her to recover faster.
Lin Xulian didn't blame Gu Kei though. The encounter with the royal guard and his hidden hand, which is the miracle draught, was totally unexpected. But Lin Xulian found it very useful as well. At least they learned that the enemy have such formidable weapon in their hands. However, Lin Xulian will find it even more useful if she could get her hand on the draught so that she could study and counter it. Based on Gu Kei's description of her experience, thousands of that kind of soldier would be hard to deal with.
Lin Xulian then asked one of the Lin Mercenary Clan member to relay this information to her uncle, Lin Yihan's troop. Although she has a hunch that Liu Yeyin will not use this weapon for a mere Fanrong soldiers. The medicine's effect is so formidable that she can tell that the materials and ingredients for its recipe are rare. It would be hard to produce large batch of it in short period of time. No matter how rich the Zhixiang country might be, the supply can be a problem. As well as human hosts. After all, it was for suicide troops' use.
She assumes that this is Liu Yeyin's ace weapon to deal with Qiangdu country. Gu Kei is the best proof of it. Luckily that royal guard she fought with is relatively weak and has a low martial skill. His life energy couldn't last that long and depleted before he could even kill her. But if it was used by someone with Xing Guang or Feng Jun Yi's level, Lin Xulian can only shiver with that thought.
During that week that they have no choice but to stay at Xing Guang's manor, Lin Xulian and her subordinates didn't stay idle. They staked the royal guards' barracks hoping to get a sample of the draught. They had no idea that at that moment, the royal guard already warned his brothers about the fatal effect of the medicine.
Lin Xulian didn't bring back the corpse with them so when he led the other royal guards to the forest, they all witnessed his horrible state. Fearing that one day their emperor might force them to use the medicine, they collected everything in their possession then burned them. If ever the emperor and empress will ask them about it, they would just show them a fake one. Because of this, Lin Xulian's stalking was futile.
While Gu Kei is regaining her strength, Lin Xulian also started preparing to set off back to Gonglu. Since stalking around the barracks was also futile, she asked Xing Guang to use his people to search for it in the Zhixiang country's capital. Lin Xulian believed that Liu Yeyin did not only give it to the royal guards in a small town.
Xing Guang naturally learned about this issue. Lin Xulian didn't hide it from him. And when she asked for a favor, he immediately complied saying; "I think I can get a hold of it." Although he no longer has a military power, Xing Guang still have some loyal subordinates back in the palace. Especially his subordinates who fought alongside with him for years.
Those subordinates, despite having more martial power than most of the royal guards, were reduced to a low ranking guards because they were once Xing Guang's men. Xing Wenhe didn't kill them back then because of Liu Yeyin's persuasion. At that time, Xing Guang had no idea why she would protect his people. But Lin Xulian's discovery gave him idea. If she wants a strong suicide troop, his men were the best candidate.
After settling everything in Zhixiang, Lin Xulian's group is finally ready to set off. But only Xing Guang will add to their group. Rui wanted to follow but Lin Xulian urged him to stay with Xing Tanxing. After all, no one would protect her with Xing Guang's absence. Rui find this reasonable. Also because he knows that Lin Xulian and their subordinates are way stronger now. He couldn't be much of a help if he followed.
And since he can't follow Lin Xulian, he decided to head to Qiangdu with Xing Tanxing. He can then introduce her to his foster family and train at the same time. As for the town, no one knows that Xing Guang could finally see. He never showed himself outside either so no one would know that he left. As for Xing Wenhe's spies, Gu Rin already dealt with them when he first met Xing Guang to confirm his identity as Gu Ran's son.
At this moment, they are only waiting for Lin Xulian to finish her disguise before leaving. They only thought that she must be putting a lot of make-up. Rui remembered when she disguised herself as an old man. It also took her a long time to put on, especially the beard. This time he doesn't know what kind of look she will choose but he is somewhat looking forward to it.
"I'm done. Let's head out." Hearing Lin Xulian's voice, everyone whipped their heads towards her direction. They were expectant to what disguise she took. But to their disappointment, she only wore a simple black porcelain mask with intricate red colored patterns that covers half of her face from her forehead to her nose. She paired it with her new favorite black robes with embroidered red spider lilies. She couldn't wear pure red robes anymore since she is afraid that it would give away her real identity.
The expectant Xing Tanxing couldn't help but express her disappointment. "Lian'er, you only wore a mask? That's it? What if it breaks? Or accidentally fall off ." She asked worriedly. She really finds Lin Xulian's disguise lacking.
Meanwhile, Gu Kei who is closely following behind Lin Xulian couldn't hide the mirth and expectation in her face hearing Xing Tanxing's complain. They all believed that Lin Xulian's only disguise is the mask, but she knew better.
"Oh that? No need to worry Tanxing." As expected after hearing Xing Tanxing's concerns, Lin Xulian took off her mask. After seeing what's under it, everyone took a deep breath in alarm. The upper part of her face has a large dark patch that looked like a birthmark. Although it doesn't look that horrendous on their perspective, having such mark on a woman's body, especially the face, will make her fall in the category of being ugly.
With Lin Xulian's reveal, Gu Kei became excited. "Isn't Princess's disguise amazing? Even washing it with any liquid can't melt it away. Trust me I tried." She stated proudly robbing Lin Xulian's lines as if she is the one responsible for the mark. But of course, nobody knows how she almost fainted when she first saw Lin Xulian's face when she woke her up earlier.
Lin Xulian's lips twitched seeing the pride and amazement in Gu Kei's face while remembering the scene that morning. When Gu Kei entered her room that morning and saw her face, she almost fainted while crying how her Princess's life will be tragic now that her face is ruined. Then it warped to hate while saying that she will avenge Lin Xulian. Lin Xulian then had no choice but to hastily explain to her that she is the one responsible for the mark. Only then she calmed down.
Lin Xulain made a cream that she could apply to her face and leave overnight in order to achieve a birthmark looking patch. But because Lin Xulian has an immunity to poisons and toxins, the mark will disappear after a day. So Lin Xulian needs to re-apply every day. This is why the mask is still necessary.
"Enough of that. Let's head out." Lin Xulian then put her mask back on. After bidding last farewell to Rui and Tanxing, they then left using only their qigong.