Chapter 13 — Man-eating Vines
Ssss… A frenzy of ominous, verbose noises rose.
Yun Wu’s heart shuddered with bad premonitions, but before she could react, an icy-cold, prickling sensation swiftly swathed her wrist—precisely, the wrist that seated the hand in possession of the small wooden box.
She lowered her head and saw a rope of ivy-vine coiled around her wrist. Clusters of thorns that closely resembled fangs ran along the length of the vine.
Clearly, the densely-packed fangs craved for her flesh. They broke through her skin and sunk deeply into her wrist, promptly drawing out a torrent of scarlet blood. This seemed to excite the vines of the surrounding four walls, causing them to begin swaying in an upwards motion.
Before long, the entire underground palace was overwhelmed by the sinister, hair-raising uproar of clashing beast teeth.
Surprise struck Yun Wu’s heart. She instinctively whipped out a dagger and forcefully swung the blade at her ivy-bound wrist. Unfortunately, the ivy-vines were incredibly tough and resilient; they would rather bear her strikes than let go, and three more ivy-vines quickly entered the fray, wrapping themselves around Yun Wu’s limbs and burrowing their fangs into her body.
The scent of blood instantly pervaded the air. The nearby vines continued to surge upwards, acting as though something from the depths of the underground palace —something utterly terrifying— had been completely awakened.
The more Yun Wu struggled, the more vines wrapped around her body. Liu Qingyue and Yun Qing Er, witnesses of this scene, were both still standing at the entranceway. Yun Qing Er took step after step back as she paled and stared, horrified, at the encompassing fanged ivy-vines.
“Great, Great Aunt, what are these wretched things?” Liu Qingyue was similarly frightened. She glanced at the box in Yun Wu’s hand, then reluctantly decided to retreat. “Those may be the legendary man-eating vines. F-first, we must leave this place,” she stammered.
Man-eating vines; a species of ferocious, carnivorous plants. Legend had it that once an individual was entangled by these vines, there would be absolutely no way to pull free.
Only, centuries ago, man-eating vines supposedly went extinc—so why had they appeared here, within Yun Manor’s Forbidden Grounds?
Seeing the ivy-vines extend their predatory, swaying claws towards them, Liu Qingyue pulled Yun Qing Er, whose legs had already gone soft from fear, and quickly fled, but before she turned to leave, murderous intent flashed in Liu Qingyue’s eyes. Silently, she flicked a finger and shot a poisonous dart at the ensnared Yun Wu’s stomach.
Since it had become temporarily impossible to retrieve the small wooden box, Liu Qingyue refused to give Yun Wu even the sliver of a chance to escape the underground palace.
A poisonous Yin dart! So it really was her.
Yun Wu spat out a mouthful of black blood as rage smothered her heart. “Liu Qingyue, just you wait. I definitely won’t let you off.”
At the time, even in her dreams, Liu Qingyue wouldn’t have expected her poisonous dart to actually save Yun Wu’s life.
Somewhere in the remote mountains, the secluded Old Master Yun suddenly sensed something that caused his expression to change into one of shock.
“Damn, which bastard intruded the Forbidden Grounds?”
Right as his angered curse fell, his cross-legged figure rose and charged out of the desolate cavern he was in, extremely worried and anxious as he hurried back to the imperial capital, where Yun Manor resided…
There, the second Liu Qingyue exited the Forbidden Grounds, she ordered for the entrance to be closed off. She proceeded to spread alleged news, claiming that the Ninth Miss had truly met her demise after she trespassed the Forbidden Grounds and met with misfortune.
Within the underground palace.
The ivy-vines that had originally been wrapped around Yun Wu were now huddled together on the ground, trembling. As it turned out, Liu Qingyue’s poisonous dart had stimulated the Yin poison lurking within Yun Wu’s body, and the vines that had wanted to suck her dry were instead killed by the Yin poison.
It was quite ironic.
Yun Wu was still preoccupied with the agonizing torment caused by the poison when she felt something curl around her ankles, dragging her into the depths of the underground palace. She wanted to resist, but she could only see darkness before her, and that darkness soon invaded her consciousness.
So cold, it was intolerable.
So hot, it was unbearable.
The dual assault of hot and cold abruptly tugged Yun Wu out from the abyss of unconsciousness. The moment she came to, her expression changed, and she instantly felt her legs weaken from shock. She saw a gigantic man-eating vine thrashing around the underground palace confines, threateningly baring its fangs at her while an enormous python lazed on the side.
The python resembled a lofty mountain, its forked tongue flickering out again and again as it hissed, its lantern-sized, forest-green eyes locked fixedly on her in the way a one would stare at food.
Being preyed on… this was already her second time experiencing it.
Taking a moment, Yun Wu scrutinized her surroundings and circumstances, whereupon goosebumps flooded her skin; even though she was calmer than most individuals, she was still somewhat scared out of her wits. After all, laid out before her was an extremely spacious underground space with walls layered in man-eating vines, a motley python, and more importantly, she was right between them, immersed in a pool of magma.
It was a scorching-hot magma pool, yet she felt both hot and cold. This was caused by the battle between the magma and the Yin poison inside of her body.
Were they trying to detoxify her?
It made sense, seeing the poison in her body had killed several man-eating vines, so they wouldn’t have dared to just eat her without ridding the poison first. However, very soon, Yun Wu’s expression once again shifted. She felt like her heart was about to jump out of her throat because she realized…
She was wrong.
VIN: So far, I don’t even know how to imagine the man-eating vines. There’s no mention of a head or mouth, so I guess it’s just a vine with bloodsucking thorns.