Chapter 1364: Intoxicating Wine
"Right here, of course," Su Yu did not deny it. He flipped his hand over, and the True Sky Flute of Heavenly Melody appeared on his palm.
Prince Yuns pupils shrank a little, but he held back the words that were at the tip of his tongue.
Su Yu said placidly, "I have to remind you, Prince Yun, that according to the rule you had set, the True Sky Flute of Heavenly Melody would belong to whoever found it, and it is mine now."
"So it is not yours anymore, Prince Yun. It belongs to me from now on!"
The Princes and Princesses were fuming with rage.
As they recalled all that had happened now, all of it seemed to be a scheme of Su Yu!
He concealed his true strength and made them let their guard down. Prince Yun was careless enough to use his most precious treasure, the True Sky Flute of Heavenly Melody, as the wager.
Not only was Xue Zhongbao murdered, but the precious Emperor-based Saint Artifact had ended up in Su Yus possession.
It drove them insane with indignation that they knew the truth but couldnt speak it.
Prince Yun stared at Su Yu, the emotions in his eyes ever-changing, and finally assumed a peaceful expression. "I keep my promises. Since you got the flute from the bottom of the lake, it belongs to you now."
Upon hearing that, Yongye Chuxue, who had been on tenterhooks, heaved a sigh of relief.
Luckily, this did not turn into an open confrontation.
Now was not the time for it yet.
"We are very sorry for Xue Zhongbaos mishap too. I hereby offer our condolences," Yongye Chuxue said, her voice flat.
Prince Yun strenuously forced a smile and nodded stiffly. "His death will not make us cancel our banquet. Princess and Su Yu, please take your seats."
Under his lead, they arrived at the center of the small island, where twenty tree stumps, all of the same size, surrounded a broken ancient grave several meters in diameter.
It had a smooth, even surface, perfect to be used as a table.
Currently, a wide assortment of spiritual fruits and beverages adorned the ancient grave table, and a thick spiritual scent was wafting through the air. Apparently, this was some valuable stuff.
Prince Yun invited them to take their seats while he sat at the head of the improvised table, acting as todays host.
Xue Xiaoman sat down as well. Upon shooting a glance at the calm, unperturbed face of Su Yu, the unsettling feeling inside her intensified.
After a moment of hesitation, she communicated through telepathy, "Brother Yun, Su Yu holds the Violet Gold Rings of Yin Yang, the Divine Feather of Frost and the Peacocks Plume in his hands, so he isnt easy to deal with. I think that was how he had killed Xue Zhongbao."
"There is no point in getting on with the banquet anymore. We should strike right now and eliminate him with our combined strength. When Yongye Chuxue is the only one left, itll be so much easier."
Prince Yun remained calm on the surface, but replied in the same way, "Do you think I plan to murder my guests at a banquet? You lost the valuable treasures, didnt you? If we confront him directly, what if he destroys them?"
Among the three lost treasures, one was an Emperor-based Saint Artifact. It was originally reserved for Prince Yun, but Prince Yun reluctantly lent it to Xue Xiaoman for her protection, after much imploring on her part. Who would have expected it to be stolen?
The royal house was still kept in the dark about the loss of those items.
If they failed to seize them back before the loss became publicized and the royal house was alerted of this mishap, neither Xue Xiaoman nor he would be granted mercy.
If they got into a head-on brawl, he was worried that Su Yu might destroy or lose the precious item. Therefore, in order to capture the rat without destroying the cage, he chose to stab his guests in the back.
Xue Xiaoman hung her head low in compunction.
Su Yu caught sight of some exchange between them from the corner of his eye, and the ghost of a smile danced across his lips.
Prince Yun looked towards Yongye Chuxue with a placid expression. "These 21 divine trees are known as the Spirit-reaching Wood, which is somewhat related to the Soul-stabilizing Wood."
"They are capable of nourishing themselves by ingesting the spirits of the world. Every decade, these tree stumps will brew mellow, tasty fairy wine, which contains dense energy. Once consumed, it gives extraordinary effects to the nourishment of souls."
"Ordinary men would be completely inebriated by drinking just a single drop of it, hence the name, Woods of Drunken Immortals."
Yongye Chuxue nodded lightly. The Spirit-reaching Wood was widely renowned in the Empire of Darkness, and the fairy wine brewed from them was a rare, precious beverage of this part of the world.
Even the Empire of Darkness received merely ten drops of it as a tribute every year, and all of those were consumed by the monarch alone.
Yongye Chuxue had only taken diluted spiritual liquid once throughout the years, and indeed, the nourishing effect it had on the soul was truly astounding.
However, just like Prince Yun had said, the wine was extremely intoxicating. The single drop of fairy wine that she had taken back then was mixed with nine drops of water, yet she could not withstand it and had fallen into a deep slumber for three days.
Rumor had it that even Yongye Jiuyang dared not drink much of it. A single drop at a time was his upper limit.
"However, what people dont know is that the most powerful fairy wines arent the ones in the market, but the ones yet to be extracted, hidden in the channels of the Spirit-reaching Wood!" Prince Yun smiled mysteriously.
The rest of the Princes and Princesses licked their lips with an anticipating look.
If it was not for the banquet at the Woods of Drunken Immortals tonight, there was no way they could have a taste of the wine.
"Princess Chuxue, Su Yu, as the saying goes, it is better to come in time than to come early. The fairy wine is extracted once every ten years. You wont get to taste the extracted wine, yet you get to taste the virgin fairy wine!"
With a flick of his hand, 21 thin tubes appeared on the table, neatly displayed in front of all the participants.
Each tube was crafted from the material of the Spirit-reaching Wood.
"Ladies and gentlemen, time waits for no man. Let us begin drinking," Prince Yun called as he clasped the thin tube before him and inserted it into the ancient wooden table.
A queer thing occurred. The moment the tube got into contact with the table, layers of thin rootlets grew from the base of the tube, becoming one with the surface of the table.
Shortly after, Prince Yun held the tube in his mouth and sucked gently. Instantly, layers of emerald crystalline, viscous spiritual liquid oozed out from the rootlets inside the table and flowed into Prince Yuns mouth along the tube.
A unique fragrance emanated from the liquid, its tantalizing scent soothing the soul and clearing the mind.
The rest of the Princes and Princess could not suppress their thirst any longer at the sight of it. All of them followed suit and began sucking the virgin fairy wine from the tree stump.
All of a sudden, fairy wine overflowed from all the activated spots, the mesmerizing fragrance filling the entire island.
Although he did not taste it yet, Su Yu could feel his soul being strengthened a little just from sniffing at the remnants of fragrance lingering in the air.
The spiritual liquid of the Spirit-reaching Wood was remarkable indeed. Su Yus eyes were filled with interest, but he made no attempt to taste the wine.
Yongye Chuxue cast a praising glance at Su Yu and said through telepathy, "The fairy wine in the market has certainly vaporized in the process of being extracted, thus its effects can never compare to the virgin fairy wine."
"Even so, the commercial fairy wine could make a person sleep for ten days and nights from just one sip, so you can imagine the after-effect of drinking this virgin fairy wine."
"Although they seem to be drinking casually, they must have come prepared with means of countering the inebriating effects of the fairy wine. You are right not to have followed suit."
As she spoke, Yongye Chuxue retrieved two black-colored pills from her sleeve and handed one of which to Su Yu. "Keep it in your mouth. It will absorb the power of the fairy wine, and we can keep ourselves unaffected even if we consume it."
She had clearly done some impressive preparations.
Su Yu took the pill and placed it in his mouth before taking a sip of the wine.
A cool, rejuvenating sensation filled his mouth, while his soul had entered a surreal, celestial state.
Su Yu had devoured souls thrice, causing his soul to strengthen too rapidly, becoming incompatible with his physical body.
Under the nourishment of this spiritual liquid, Su Yus soul blended with his physical body quickly, getting rid of the hidden danger.
Su Yu was secretly jubilant. This trip had not been pointless after all.
However, it was just as Yongye Chuxue said. Despite the amazing power of the fairy wine, its intoxicating quality was no joke.
Before long, Su Yu felt a giddy feeling of confusion hit him.
"What a powerful intoxicating effect!" Su Yu marveled. He had an antidote in his mouth, yet the wine was still impacting him so strongly.
"Hold on, this is not right!" A thought hit Su Yu out of nowhere. Before his mind turned all blurry, he sensed imminent danger.
Having consumed the spiritual liquid too, Yongye Chuxue remained completely unaffected and showed no sign of intoxication.
She had taken the same antidote as he did, so why was there such a great difference?
His eyes flickered secretly as he glanced around at the rest of the people, without saying a word.
The Princes appeared to be sucking with delight, but with his Transparent Eye, Su Yu clearly saw that there was nothing in their tubes. It turned out that Yongye Chuxue and he were the only ones drinking.
Su Yus pupils shrank slightly when he saw that besides the emerald spiritual liquid flowing in the channels within the tree stump, there was also a light golden liquid. It was colorless and odorless, blended into the emerald liquid, and no one would possibly notice it.
Something was not right!
Su Yu pretended to be drinking while secretly taking note of everyones actions.
Before long, Su Yus eyes gleamed as he discovered a pinch of residual golden powder in Prince Yuns hand.
Su Yu could not help but sneer at the sight of it.
They added the intoxicating ingredient into the spiritual liquid to let Su Yu consume it without realizing so that he would pass out. Didnt they?
Besides, judging from their look, they had planned it earlier on. Once Su Yu began drinking, they would stop all at once, in case they consumed the golden liquid by accident.
Su Yu was amused by how they were all pretending to be enjoying the wine and getting wasted.
"Fine, since theyre fond of pretending, Ill give them a little surprise." Su Yu flashed a smile and pretended he was drunk.
Smacking his lips, he giggled like a fool. "What a great wine! I have never tasted such delicious wine in my entire life. No way, I must get another sip."
When he finished, he lowered his head to bite the tube.
However, this time he did not suck at it but spat some liquid into the thin tube instead.
The liquid entered the tree stump and quickly circulated around the entire inner part of the stump along the channels.
Clueless, the Princes and Princesses exchanged glances.
Having swallowed so much of the golden liquid, Su was supposed to be almost finished!
Prince Yuns lips curled into a hardly noticeable smirk.
"Haha, Brother Su, since you like it, you might as well take a few more sips. After today, you will hardly get the chance to drink this wine again," Prince Yun played a pun.
There were hints of intoxication on Su Yus face, and his cheeks looked rosy. His eyes slowly lost their focus and he looked more inebriated with every passing minute. It was only a matter of time before he fell into a deep sleep.
He slurred, "Ill take a rest and then carry on drinking. You can go on for now."
Prince Yun said smilingly, "Brother Su, you are my guest. How could we carry on drinking while you are taking a break?"
Su Yu queried, "Why must you wait until I drink? Is there a problem with the wine?"
Having been challenged by Su Yus words, the Princes and Princesses were all taken aback.
Prince Yun remained unruffled and offered a pleasant smile. "If so, let us carry on drinking and enjoy ourselves."
As he spoke, his palm caressed the bottom of the table. The golden yellow liquid in the channels was withdrawn all at once.
Having taken the hint from Prince Yun, the rest of the Princes and Princesses cast their worries away and drank fearlessly after ascertaining that the spiritual liquid was safe for consumption.
Yongye Chuxue could not help but take another sip after getting a taste of it.
All of a sudden, she felt Su Yus hand pressing her thigh.