Gu Beiyue’s speed exceeded anyone’s expectations. Seven days after they sent the letter, he appeared before them, his white robes unstained. However, his hair was a little unkempt and his face laced with exhaustion. Even someone as calm as Long Feiye was taken aback.
“How did you get here?” Long Feiye asked.
Gu Beiyue had chosen to use his lightness techniques in place of a horse. He anxiously asked, “Where is Guard Chu? How is he doing now?”
The fact that he rushed here so quickly made everyone realize that Chu Xifeng’s injuries were worse than they thought. Chu Xifeng was lying on the side, blocked by everyone else. His heart seized at Gu Beiyue’s words before he turned away.
In the past, he had hated and resented that man.
Han Yunxi and the rest quickly got out of the way so Gu Beiyue could see his patient. He quickly strode over to kneel by his side. Although Chu Xifeng was staring at the wall, Gu Beiyue still said, “Guard Chu, I understand your situation all too well. Don’t worry, I’ll heal you no matter what!”
Chu Xifeng’s head whipped back as he was left at a loss for words. Meanwhile, Gu Beiyue had already taken his hand to check his pulse. Han Yunxi quickly summarized the situation for him while Baili Mingxiang and Xu Donglin added in supplementary details. From the sidelines, Han Yunxi watched the scene and Gu Beiyue before a saying popped up in her head: Only by seeing the rainbow, can one know it’s without compare.
How could anyone like Gu Beiyue exist? He was always so warm and amiable to his peers. Sometimes she really wanted to see him lose his temper.
After taking Chu Xifeng’s pulse, Gu Beiyue carefully examined him and determined the level of fractures in his legs and left hand. Much of his internal organs were injured as well, but taking Returning Dragon Pill had helped him. His true qi from his cultivation days was slowly recovering, which helped to protect his body. Otherwise, the man would be beyond help by now.
Gu Beiyue quickly took out the medicine he prepared and had Han Yunxi and Baili Mingxiang apply it to his wounds anew. Then he wrote a bunch of prescriptions and handed them to Xu Donglin. “He needs to start taking the medicine within seven days, three times daily. The treatment will need to be done in conjunction with acupuncture and moxibustion.”
“Doctor Gu, I’m fine. Just have me take your medicine, don’t delay His Highness’s plans!” Chu Xifeng said quickly. If he needed acupuncture and moxibustion, then it would waste Gu Beiyue’s time! His Highness and the princess were waiting for the doctor to accompany them up the mountain!
Gu Beiyue looked towards Baili Mingxiang. “Miss Mingxiang, I taught you some acupuncture before you went to Celestial Mountain last time. Do you still remember?”
Baili Mingxiang gave a start before she nodded. “I always have. Don’t worry, Doctor Gu, Mingxiang can take good care of Guard Chu.”
“Princess, since the news of the dual cultivation has already been leaked, there’s no need for Miss Mingxiang to risk herself accompanying us up the mountain. How about having her take care of Guard Chu?” Gu Beiyue asked seriously.
“You and her are the only people I trust to take care of him,” Han Yunxi replied.
“This isn’t a place where one can tarry long. Send them away first before we discuss plans for ascent?” Gu Beiyue glanced at Long Feiye. In the end, he called the shots.
Long Feiye had no objections. “Xu Donglin, find a few men to send them to Crescent Villa. (月牙庄) Keep a close eye on Chu Tianyin as well and standby for further orders.”
Crescent Villa was close to the Western Zhou imperial capital and one of Long Feiye’s strongholds in the Western Zhou desert. There were a few springs there that supported a large oasis. Because Long Feiye bought the land during the waxing crescent, which was reflected in the springs, had given it its current name. Chu Tianyin still hadn’t figured out why Emperor Kangcheng had made a fuss at Hundred Poisons Sect while Mu Qingwu was still missing. Long Feiye was dissatisfied with this turn of events and would have gone to meet the man directly if he wasn’t so busy.
“Yes, this subordinate understands!” Xu Donglin was thrilled. Now he could take care of Chief Chu.
All of the arrangements looked nice and logical, but Gu Qishao had a funny feeling as he stood silently studying the prescription. Judging from this medicine, there was no need to pair it with acupuncture and moxibustion treatments. In other words, Gu Beiyue was clearly lying!
Gu Qishao’s eyes twirled in their sockets, but he didn’t expose the man.
“Your Highness, princess, take care!” Baili Mingxiang blessed them respectfully. Her heart was filled with complicated feelings, a mixture of freedom and reluctance.
Long Feiye ignored her and bent down to murmur in Gu Beiyue’s ear. Whatever he said was inaudible, but Han Yunxi smiled and replied to her, “Mm, you guys take care too.”
After Baili Mingxiang’s group departed, Gu Qishao pulled Gu Beiyue to his side and whispered, “Isn’t there a problem with your prescription and acupuncture treatment?”
“I don’t think so?” Gu Beiyue smiled.
“There definitely is. That prescription doesn’t need any acupuncture treatment. I can vouch for it!” Gu Qishao declared.
“Qishao, let’s discuss that after we rescue Mu Linger. There’s more important matters at stake now,” Gu Beiyue didn’t argue but cleverly put off answering. With Gu Qishao’s personality, he’d forget about the thing in a heartbeat unless it involved Poison lass. Gu Beiyue had done all of this on purpose to send Baili Mingxiang away.
Baili Mingxiang couldn’t understand or see through him, but he saw right through her. Nobody had known what Su Xiaoyu did to her at the Duke of Qin’s estate, but none of it had escaped his eyes. By sending Baili Mingxiang away today, he knew that one day, he too would have to depart.
Turning back, Gu Beiyue declared, “Your Highness, princess, as this one sees it, there’s no need for poison soldiers. We can set off tonight!”
Seeing the couple’s surprised expressions, he added, “This one has yet to try my fists and feet after recovering my shadow arts. I ask that Your Highness and princess give me a chance to take care of all four mountains. I will definitely not disappoint!”
Long Feiye loved decisive people and Gu Beiyue was a true talent. Most pleased, he smiled and said, “If your family’s princess can hand off all the antidotes to you, then this crown prince has no objections.”
Han Yunxi laughed. It wasn’t easy for Long Feiye to say things like “your family’s princess!”
She happily handed over a big bag of antidotes and declared, “There’s a total of 55 sword depositories, each afflicted by its own poison. Every depository contains around 30 disciples that are victim to one poison, which I’ve marked out as antidote pills individually.”
Han Yunxi then added, “Gu Beiyue, think it over clearly. It’s not easy to traverse four mountains and 55 depositories. If you startle the snake in the grass and don’t flee fast enough, you’ll be in a lot of trouble.”
“Princess need not worry, this subordinate will join you at the peak as soon as I finish my mission,” Gu Beiyue cupped his fists, his words full of vigor.
Gu Qishao watched the scene and felt that Long Feiye, Han Yunxi, and Gu Beiyue made an extremely harmonious team. He felt like he should say something before he was cast aside.
Throwing an arm around Gu Beiyue’s shoulders, Gu Qishao chuckled and said, “Brother, then we’ll wait for you at the top!”
Gu Beiyue only murmured back, “Qishao, if Bai Yanqing’s up there, you must protect the princess well.”
Gu Qishao gave a start before realizing that he might be the main player in all of this. He quickly recovered and easily agreed, “No need to worry with me here!”
That night, Long Feiye, Han Yunxi, Gu Qishao, and Gu Beiyue worked as a group together for the first time to infiltrate Celestial Mountain. Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were dressed in noble purple robes, Gu Qishao in seductive, flaming red, and Gu Beiyue in untarnished, ethereal white. In the misty forest, the four figures sped one after the other like a soundless scene from a dream.
After reaching the first peak, Gu Beiyue descended into the mountains. When Han Yunxi’s group glanced back at him, he smiled and waved, indicating that they shouldn’t think much of it. By the time the trio vanished into the night, Gu Beiyue glanced up at the moon as if to calculate his time. All traces of warmth and calm vanished from his face, to be replaced by a frightening seriousness! It was as if he’d frozen over into an emotionless Asura who was nothing but swift, fierce, and cold.
He slowly turned towards Meteor Sword Depository before flashing out of sight.
When Long Feiye and Han Yunxi had been scouting the way, they didn’t need to climb to the peak and spent their time circling around the forests of each mountain. Thus, they didn’t run into any guards blocking the mountain paths. This time they were bound to clash with them. The first and second mountains were connected by the bamboo bridge, the second and third by the stone sword statue, and the third and fourth by another similar statue. Han Yunxi had even run into trouble on the bamboo bridge during her first trip here, but Long Feiye had summoned disciples from the lower mountain sword depositories to help her cross. She had a deep impression of the structure, but there was no one around this one to force her to follow the rules for Celestial Mountain entry. Only guards blocked their way, which they met head on with the intent to kill their way through!
Faced with Heretical Sword Sect’s disciples, even Gu Qishao, to say nothing of Long Feiye, could deal with them. However, to kill someone soundlessly and formlessly was Han Yunxi’s forte.
She used poison needles!
Like how Long Feiye’s sword could slit throats in one slice, she could kill with one stab. Very soon, they reached the opening between the fourth and fifth mountains leading to the peak. Before them stood a chain bridge, which was required crossing! However, unlike the guards of the lower mountains, two rows flanked the bridge, one full of Heretical Sword Sect swordsmen, the other of Lockheart Courtyard disciples. Long Feiye recognized those on sight as Cang Qiuzi’s personally tutored disciples.
Inside the pavilion on the side of the chain-link bridge were seated various figures. Han Yunxi’s sharp eyes recognized a familiar face amongst them. She grinned and said, “Long Feiye, your would-be younger sister-in-law is there too!”
That’s right. The familiar figure that Han Yunxi recognized was none other than Cang Qiuzi’s daughter Lockheart Courtyard’s eldest young Miss, Cang Xiaoying.
4. Anyone remember her days back in Tianning Country when she was feared for her poison skills just because of this? And then she defended herself by saying she could use it to save people too? Times have changed, indeed.
I know the author likes to make GBY cool (heck I love cool GBY too) but sometimes I feel she wants to be dramatic as possible and heighten the moment by trying too hard with descriptions and metaphors...
"emotionless Asura" (???)
OK boomer whatever floats your boat *coughs* But I think we've already established that she's not a master of subtle cues so you do you, webnovel writer.
There's always that fine line between "let's make this sound good" vs. "let's keep it as close to the original Chinese" as possible and I've been leaning towards the latter recently...