Chapter 1163: Why is it thorny thistles?

Faced with Gu Beiyue’s careful questioning, Gu Qishao was nothing short of impatient. He pushed the doctor’s hand aside and explained, “This old man’s really recovered. I just used up too much of my stamina in the maze, but I’ve been eating and sleeping and eating over the past two days. If you don’t believe me, why don’t we fight a round?”

“Alright, one round,” Gu Beiyue agreed.

Gu Qishao was surprised before he suddenly regretted his choice. “It’s the middle of the night, so it’s no good if we wake Poison lass up with a racket. Tomorrow! As soon as it’s daybreak, we’ll meet in the back mountains. Whoever doesn’t show up is a weakling!”

Gu Beiyue’s gentle gaze suddenly turned stern as he scrutinzed Gu Qishao. If the man hadn’t backpedald, he might have thought the guy was still fine, judging from his attitude. But avoiding a fight like this made Gu Beiyue certain that he was hiding something. 

Gu Qishao rose to avoid Gu Beiyue’s gaze as he began to complain. “I say, Academy Head Gu, why are you pestering me in the middle of the night instead of spending time with your Fourth Young Miss Ren?”

“Fourth Young Miss Ren isn’t mine. Don’t speak nonsense,” Gu Beiyue stood up as well.

Gu Qishao was hoping to change the topic. With a grin, he sat on the table and chuckled, “Didn’t you say before that you’d definitely get married? What, you’ll give up on someone as good as Fourth Young Miss Ren?”

“Let’s go to the back courtyard,” Gu Beiyue was too lazy to rise to his bait. 

Gu Qishao suddenly pressed close and muttered, “Gu Beiyue, you like Poison lass, don’t you?”

Gu Beiyue remained unruffled. “Are you coming or not?”

“I could tell as far back as the Duke of Qin’s manor and the Han Estate!” Gu Qishao added.

Gu Beiyue continued to ignore him. “You’re certain you’re not coming?”

“Gu Beiyue, you don’t want to get married at all. You just want to have a madam for the medical academy, right?” Gu Qishao’s eyes seemed to look right through Gu Beiyue’s pupils into his deepest, truest self.

Still, Gu Beiyue managed to topple him with a single sentence.

“Qishao, tomorrow morning is fine too,” Gu Beiyue conceded. “But I don’t have time then. His Highness does.”

Gu Qishao’s expression stagnated before he lost all spirit. He went back to the bed and lied down, then whispered softly, “Gu Beiyue, no need for a fight. You win.”

His comments about Han Yunxi and Fourth Young Miss Ren seem to have no effect on Gu Beiyue, because he was already striding to the bed. “Just what’s the matter with you?” Gu Beiyue asked seriously.

“Gu Beiyue, I can come with you to Medical City and stay put. But you have to promise me something,” Gu Qishao replied. “Don’t tell anyone else, including Poison lass and Long Feiye.”

Seeing Gu Beiyue hesitate, Gu Qishao hastily added, “Wait until after Poison lass has the baby!”

After a long time, Gu Beiyue nodded. “Fine!”

Gu Qishao didn’t elaborate after that, but he did roll up his sleeves to reveal his arm. Gu Beiyue sucked in a cold breath at the sight. “How can this be?”

“Say, Gu Beiyue…” Gu Qishao smiled. “Do you think this old man will die?”

“You won’t!” Gu Beiyue was adamant.

Gu Qishao’s smile grew more dazzling. “Done. If you say I won’t, then this old man believes it!”

That night, Gu Beiyue remained with Gu Qishao until morning. Then he hurried back to the prison cells of the medical academy to seek out Gu Yuntian. Gu Qishao didn’t go anywhere, but remained obliviously unconscious on the bed. 

--

At breakfast, Han Yunxi asked, “Why haven’t I seen Gu Qishao in the past two days? What’s he up to now?”

If Gu Qishao knew that his Poison lass was thinking of him this morning, he’d be thrilled. After all, she had never missed him before. She was always finding him annoying or chasing him away. 

A complicated looked crept into Long Feiye’s eyes before he intoned, “I saw him with Gu Beiyue last night.”

Han Yunxi didn’t think more than that. After all, she wasn’t clear on the details of what happened to Gu Qishao in the sealed dimension. It was even normal for the man to disappear for days at a time.

“Xu Donglin, call them over. Just say I have sometihng to discuss with them,” Han Yunxi ordered. She wanted to talk about Gu Qishao’s undying body. 

But Xu Donglin searched around in vain before coming back.

“You didn’t see Gu Beiyue either?” Han Yunxi asked.

Xu Donglin shook his head. “How about I go over to check with Fourth Young Miss Ren?” he suggested.

Yet that trip proved to be in vain too.

“Where’s Lil Thing? Have it search, it’ll definitely find them,” Han Yunxi was getting uneasy.

“Princess, Lil Thing is right by the maternity ward, but Fourth Young Miss Ren said that Sir Beiyue hasn’t dropped by in the past two days at all,” Xu Donglin replied honestly.

“Then what’s Lil Thing doing now?” Han Yunxi grew doubtful.

“It’s just perching on the rafters,” Xu Donglin replied. “It hasn’t done anything. Fourth Young Miss Ren said that Lil Thing has been staring at her for the past two days. She has no idea what it wants.”

Han Yunxi didn’t speak. She wanted to communicate telepatically with Lil Thing, but found that it was impossible after she took its poison beast blood. 

“Could something have happened to them?” Han Yunxi looked to Long Feiye, ignoring Lil Thing for now.

“Don’t worry,” Long Feiye replied.

It wasn’t until evening that Gu Beiyue appeared before Han Yunxi and Long Feiye. Long Feiye seemed to have guessed at something and kept quiet, but Han Yunxi was full of doubts. “Where did you go? We couldn’t find you all day.”

“I went to find Qishao, but couldn’t find him after scouring all of Medical City,” Gu Beiyue sighed helplessly.

That was enough to switch Han Yunxi’s focus on Gu Qishao. Before she could ask, Gu Qishao’s laughter sounded from beyond the courtyard.

“Poison lass! Poison lass, guess what Qi gege’s brought back for you?”

Gu Qishao came sauntering in with two bags of piping hot goodies. He set the parcels on the table and opened them up, sending fragrant, droolworthy flavors into the air. He began to introduce each of the items, all famous street foods from the little towns surrounding Medical City. 

“I heard people get picky when they’re pregnant, so Qi gege found all these just for you. I’ve run around all day taste-testing them, so I can promise they’re harmless. Hurry up and try some, see if they suit your palate,” Gu Qishao said earnestly.

Han Yunxi had forgotten how many times it’d been since Gu Qishao had gifted her food. He must have offered up all the snacks on Cloud Realm Continent by now.

Long Feiye gave him a decisive judgment. “You have too much free time.”

“As long as it makes Poison lass happy!” Gu Qishao retorted.

Too lazy to bother arguing, Long Feiye sat down. Seeing this, the gluttonous Han Yunxi joined him while beckoning Gu Beiyue, Gu Qishao, and Xu Donglin to do the same. Like this, their dinner was set.

After the meal, Gu Qishao prepared to flee when Han Yunxi called him back. “Hold it! I’ve been waiting for you all day. Let’s go to our Academy Head Gu’s consultation room.”

Gu Qishao turned back with a smile. “I’ll go wherever you want me to.”

Long Feiye turned to Gu Beiyue, who met his gaze and shook his head. It was unclear whether Long Feiye understood the unspoken signal, but he remained mute. They ended up in a study, where Gu Beiyue took out a thick volume of records and a thinner booklet on medicine.

“Princess, this is the result of interrogations by this subordinate on Gu Yuntian,” Gu Beiyue explained. “It’s a record of all medicines Qishao has ingested from his time in the womb to his banishment from Medical City. The other is a list of medicine this subordinate organized from the intel, so princess can just read that one.”

Han Yunxi glanced over the contents without studying them in detail. She asked, “Qishao, how do you grow your vines? Why are they thorny thistles and not something else?”

Gu Qishao’s blood could nurture vines until they possessed the same undying, poison-immune characteristics as himself. Han Yunxi suspected that the secret to his constitution came from his bloodstream. Meanwhile, his current state must be a result of all the medicines he took since his conception. No matter how rare those medicines were, it was improbable that they could create an undying body after ingestion. Thus, she had to tell Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao all her guesses and conjectures before leaving Medical City so they could stay and study it slowly.

Gu Qishao took out a blood-red seed. “Take a look, see if there’s anything special.”

Han Yunxi studied it carefully but didn’t find anything strange. She asked, “Gu Qishao, what kind of plants are your thorny thistles?” Naturally, this wasn’t their actual name--just a moniker based on their appeaances. 

In truth, the thistle referred to the vine like projections while the thorns referred to spiky plants. Most people meant the thorny brambles growing in the mountainside when they said “thistles,” while “thorny thistles” was used here to describe spiky vines.

“Blood Rattan,”Gu Qishao said as he broke apart the seed to reveal a drop of fresh blood within.

Gu Beiyue looked at it carefully, then askd, “Qishao, is that...your blood?”

“Yep!” Gu Qishao was in a rare serious mood as he began to explain. 

Many years ago, he had gotten bored of planting medicine in Pill Fiend Valley and wanted to make some sort of weaponized plant. In the end, his research led him to discovered a rare speciment of vine called thorny thistle. It fed off the nutrients of animal corpses and the essence of their blood and flesh to alow hyper growth within a short time. The vines were also very pliable and sturdy, making it ideal for tying up in knots or using as ropes. 

They inspired Gu Qishao to plant the vines into his own flesh. He discovered that after taking in his blood, they could grow to maturity in an instant and be controlled at will. Later on, he used his blood to nurture the plants and plopped the seeds into the blood of animals and humans alike. Those seeds could grow rapidly as well while still remaining under his control. After that, he discovered that those seeds grown in the earth could also sprout at his command and be at his beck and call.

He called the special seeds raised by his blood the “Blood Rattan.” As long as the Blood Rattan grew within short-distance range of his body, it would possess the same undying characteristics and be immune to poisons. But there was nothing special to them beyond that--and his absolute control of the vines.

When Gu Qishao finished, Han Yunxi, Gu Beiyue, and Long Feiye were all exchanging looks.

Gu Beiyue muttered, “Qishao, the problem has to be in your blood!”

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Ruyi's Thoughts

On today's episode of PGC, we enter the supernatural world of...biology?