Chapter 69: Stumbling Block

"Qi Yichen!" Gu Qingyu screamed. The powerlessness was fading, she felt her strength return to her. She pushed herself up from the floor. Zhi Wei glanced at Gu Qingyu, then clapped his hands. A jolt of pain pierced through her wrists, her arms gave out and she fell flat against the floor. Qi Yichen was still in Zhi Wei's arms, blood was still pouring out of his chest. And yet, he smiled at her, it was the same smile he gave her when they first met. It was a pure, innocent smile, albeit apologetic.

 

"Chen, you know me. Since you love me so much, then please, my only stumbling block, die for me." Zhi Wei still had a smile on his face, but it was horrifying and chilling. Qi Yichen laughed, as though he had come to terms with his impending death. His laugh reminded her of wilting spider lilies, they would bloom splendidly, even if it killed them. 

"Don't blame me." Zhi Wei's eyes gradually became cold and indifferent. "You have to die, Chen, it was just a matter of time." 

"Wei," Qi Yichen smiled, blood trickled out of his lips as he replied. "I never blamed you."

He said "blamed", which means he already knew.

Qi Yichen, you're really a tactician.

"And, like this, we will always be together..." Zhi Wei held Qi Yichen's face softly, his thumb brushed against his cheek.

Qi Yichen's hand trembled as he reached up and covered Zhi Wei's hand. "Wei, after your only stumbling block is dead, can you let Zhu Fan go?"

Gu Qingyu could hear her heart pounding in her ears. 

"Of course, it's your last wish after all." Zhiwei nodded, "Chen, I have to say, you are a very smart person. It's just a pity that you lost to love."

"You don't say..." Qi Yichen chuckled lightly.

 

"Now then, farewell, Chen." Zhi Wei was about to pull out the dagger, but he could not move his hand. A dark green ribbon wrapped around his hand.

"Dammit!" Zhi Wei cursed, he tugged against the ribbon, but it would not budge. Qi Yichen still lost too much blood and passed out. His white robe was now stained red as he laid in Zhi Wei's arms, completely silent.  Gu Qingyu pushed herself up from the floor, flew forward, and grabbed Qi Yichen. She transferred whatever power she had to him, it was just enough to maintain his pulse. 

"Hang in there, Qi Yichen." Gu Qingyu wrapped her arms around Qi Yichen's limp body. Several people appeared in front of her in an instant, Jia Qizhe, Mo Bai and the rest of the team were finally here. 

 

"Mo Bai! Come and help!" Gu Qingyu shouted at Mo Bai, "I can't keep this up anymore..."

Mo Bai rushed to them. He looked at Gu Qingyu, there was some uncertainty in his voice. "Yu'er, do you want to save him?"

"Yes, Qi Yichen is my friend!" Her voice was firm. "Mo Bai, please."

Mo Bai sighed slightly as he placed his hand on her head. "I can never say no to you, Yu'er."

His fingertips brushed against the gash on her arm and instantly, a cold sensation washed over the wound, and the pain dulled. He took Qi Yichen and stepped out. "He and I will wait for you at the inn."

Does that mean he agreed? Gu Qingyu cried tears of joy as she nodded towards Mo Bai. She then straightened her face, and turned to Zhi Wei, still seated in his throne.

Zhi Wei looked at Gu Qingyu and let out a bark of laughter. "Why, Zhu Fan, are you in love too?"

"Bullshit." Qi Wan snapped back before Gu Qingyu could say anything.

Gu Qingyu pointed to Qi Wan, and addressed Zhi Wei in a flat tone. "Relax, Zhi Wei. This guy is just Qi Yichen's ex." 

"What ex!" Qi Wan snorted, "Zhi Wei? Then I'll be Er Kang."

"Are you also called Er Kang?" Zhi Wei looked at Qi Wan in horror.

"Yeah," Qi Wan looked at Zhiwei with a half-smile. "What about it?" Step by step, he approached Zhi Wei. Zhi Wei stood up and backed away.

Jia Qizhe walked to Gu Qingyu's side. "Yu'er, are you ok?" He suddenly saw Gu Qingyu's blood-stained sleeve, and his soft gaze chilled. A sword appeared in his right hand. "Yu'er, don't worry, I'll cut off one of his arms right this moment."

"Don't." Gu Qingyu shook her head. "Make that two."

Jia Qizhe was stunned, then a bloodthirsty grin spread across his face. "Two it is."

"What about his legs?" Xie Zang chimed in.

Gu Qingyu thought for a while and gave a serious nod. "Yes. Where's Brother Murong and Xiao Qi?"

"They stayed in the inn. It's not suitable for Xiao Qi to come here, Brother Murong stayed to protect her." Qi Wan turned back, then his ribbon flew out and wrapped tightly around Zhi Wei.

 

Zhi Wei glared at them. "How do you plan to answer your crime, to plot murder against a king!"

Gu Qingyu smiled and walked up to him, Qi Wan and Jia Qizhe stepped aside and opened the path. "How about, the incompetent King of Xiqian had killed the Prime Minister in a drunken fit, and when he sobered up, he was overwhelmed with guilt and killed himself. Would that be a sufficient answer?" She gently stroked the Soul Chain as it circled them. Zhi Wei shivered as though he had fallen into an icy ravine. The person in front of him was like Death, who had come from Hell to retrieve his soul. 

"You..." He burst into a whistle.

"What are you doing?" Gu Qingyu looked at him suspiciously.

Zhi Wei stopped and stared at Gu Qingyu with horror. "You... why aren't the parasites working..."

Can whistling also control the parasites? Gu Qingyu blinked and suddenly remembered the moment Qi Yichen's fan sliced open her arm. He was helping her get rid of the parasites.

Zhi Wei looked at her arm and made the connection. His eyes glazed over. "To think Qi Yichen actually betrayed me..."

"You never sided with him, how could he betray you?" Gu Qingyu smiled.

Zhi Wei suddenly shouted frantically. "Chen! Chen! Come and save me!"

"You lost him the moment you drove that dagger into him." Gu Qingyu looked at him without sympathy or pity. "Zhi Wei, you are nothing without Qi Yichen."

Zhi Wei froze for a moment, then smiled in sorrow. "You're right! Without him, I am nothing! Everything that I have to have, it was all given by him. But I treated him as a stumbling block, a stone in my path!" He said, there seemed to be tears at the corners of his eyes. "Chen, where are you?" 

Tears slid down and dripped to the floor. Gu Qingyu merely watched as the man in front of her cried tears of regret. Just moments ago, that man was a King who had the world in his arms. And now that man had lost everything. Yet, there was a cold indifference in her eyes.

 

"For Qi Yichen's sake, I think it's better that you no longer exist in this world." Gu Qingyu smiled, but the smile did not reach her eyes. "From now on, the King of Xiqian is no more, along with the Prime Minister of Xiqian. Qi Yichen will be Qi Yichen, he will just be himself."

"You forgive him, even though he betrayed you?" Shock was written all over Zhi Wei's face. 

"He never betrayed me." Gu Qingyu's voice was calm, neither cold nor warm. "You betrayed him."

She whipped around. "I'm going back to the inn to see how Qi Yichen is doing.

Jia Qizhe, Xie Zang, I'll leave him in your hands. Qi Wan, remember to help me bring back the Lifeblood Jewel of Destiny and the Spirit Gems." The trio nodded, Gu Qingyu pushed open the door and left the palace. 

 

Back at the inn

Mo Bai, in pristine white robes, sipped his tea as he waited for Gu Qingyu on the first floor.

"Mo Bai!" Gu Qingyu ran up to him. "Qi Yichen, is he..."

"He's alive." Mo Bai took a small sip. "But he lost a lot of blood. He'll wake up after about two or three days of rest."

"Thank you, Mo Bai!" Gu Qingyu nodded.

"Yu'er, sometimes I really don't understand you." He set down the teacup with one hand and ran his other hand along his jade flute. 

"You don't need to understand." Gu Qingyu looked at Qi Yichen's room on the second floor. "I would do the same if it had been any one of you."

"I don't know if I should call you gracious or stupid." Mo Bai shook his head with a smile. "You know, in the future, every one of us may be like Qi Yichen today and reveal ourselves to be just using you to get to the Lifeblood Jewel of Destiny and the Spirit Gems. "

"I know." Gu Qingyu sighed softly. "I'm ready for that."

"You're prepared..." Mo Bai lowered his eyes slightly. Suddenly, he raised the corners of his lips and reached out to touch Gu Qingyu's head. "Yu'er, just remember, I will never leave you."

Gu Qingyu smiled and nodded. "I know, thank you, Mo Bai."

Murong Zuoyu, who came out of the room, saw Gu Qingyu and greeted, "Brother Zhu."

"Everything went well." Gu Qingyu nodded and walked upstairs. Back in her own room, she reached out to Yan Zun out of habit. Then she remembered that the Lifeblood Jewel of Destiny was stolen. She blinked a few times, then the sound of footsteps came from downstairs. 

Are they back? Gu Qingyu opened the door and saw Qi Wan walking up the stairs. 

"Everyone's back?" Gu Qingyu smiled.

Qi Wan nodded and extended his hand. In his palm was a small bundle of cloth. He opened the bundle, and it was the Lifeblood Jewel of Destiny and the Spirit Gems. There is one more Spirit Gem than they originally had. Gu Qingyu took the small bundle."Thank you, Qi Wan!"

"Oh Boss, it's an honour to work for you!" Qi Wan clapped his hands. "Boss, did you know that this Zhi Wei hid them super well? It's actually hidden in a book, and the book was hidden in a giant library! If it weren't for my sharp wit... " Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes, dragged Qi Wan downstairs and rejoined the team. 

 

She smiled at the crowd. "Thank you for your work today, everyone. Do get some rest soon. And... no one is to ever mention Xiqian, or its King in front of Qi Yichen. From today onwards, there is no Prime Minister of Xiqian. Qi Yichen is just Qi Yichen." Everyone nodded.

 

Gu Qingyu walked back to her room and took out the Lifeblood Jewel of Destiny. 

A familiar voice came. "Stupid apprentice, finally found your master?"

Gu Qingyu smiled. "Sorry Master, I let them take you away."

"Huh, don't apologise. Do you think those ants stood a chance if I didn't want to be captured?" Yan Zun let out a huff. He was relaxed, not a slight bit of worry or fear was in his voice. 

Gu Qingyu was confused. "Then you...?"

"Did you forget that I am also a ghost now?" Yan Zun curled his lips as he leaned back on Gu Qingyu's bed. "This was the perfect opportunity to uncover a few secrets in Xiqian. And this time, I found quite a few interesting things in their grand library!"

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