Chapter 1164: False, the riddle of immortality

Gu Qishao’s undying, unaging body had to be a consequence of his unique blood, which resulted from the medicines he took in the womb. Han Yunxi handed over the list of medicine from Gu Yuntian to Gu Qishao and said, “Take a close look, see if it’s complete. If we want to figure out your body, this list will be crucial.”

“Oh,” Gu Qishao obediently accepted the item. 

“Long Feiye, have Xu Donglin send a letter to the Tang Clan later so Lingr can come help,” Han Yunxi addd.

Mu Linger was a genius pharmacist, so she’d be a perfect help. Although Gu Qishao’s skills were no less inferior, adding one more assistant didn’t hurt. Maybe Mu Linger could even catch something Gu Qishao missed?

Gu Qishao pursed his lips and chuckled. “Let’s not scare that lass, alright? She’ll cry.”

Han Yunxi suddenly realized that Mu Linger didn’t know that Gu Qishao had an undying body. She hesitated--in the end, this was Gu Qishao’s own secret. Even if it was for his own good, she didn’t have the ight to publicize his condition. Finally, she said, “You make the choice.”

“Qishao, let’s study these medicines first. If we can’t figure it out, you can think about inviting Miss Linger over then. How does that sound?” Gu Beiyue compromised.

“Fine, fine, whatever you say goes,” Gu Qishao looked like he couldn’t care less.

Han Yunxi stared at the bloody seeds and was about to speak when Gu Beiyue carried over a flowerpot. “Princess, we can’t experiment on Qishao’s body, but we can test these seeds. Same for the Blood Rattan,” Gu Beiyue stated. “By planting them in soil, normal humans, or animal blood, Qishao can control them. But they won’t inherit his undying chaacteristics or be immune to poison. Seeds grown from Qishao’s blood are just about identical to himself. There’s plenty worth studying with these points.”

Han Yunxi was in silent admiration. It was no wonder that Gu Beiyue was the world’s foremost doctor. She said, “I once read about a cruel medical experiment where they extracted essences of the five elements and injected them into the human body. As the body grew, the essences eventually merged with the person to be one.”

Gu Beiyue’s gentle eyes brightened at her words, while Gu Qishao’s gaze grew complicated. Only Long Feiye furrowed his brows, completely clueless. He had never studied medicine or poisons and wasn’t starting now. As he sat to the side and heard them talk, he studied Gu Qishao’s hand. His left arm was clearly dangling by his side and even looked unnaturally stiff. 

Of course, Long Feiye only kept the observation to himself. 

“Let me give an example. Of the five elements, suppose we take metal. If you can extract the essense of metal from a metallic object and inject it into the human body, the blood and flesh would combine with the essence. Then the human body would become hard as metal and difficult to injure. And if the essence of water could be extracted and fed to the body, it would grow soft and limpid, even capable of reducing itself to a liquid state.”[1]

As Han Yunxi spoke, it wasn’t just Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao who looked doubtful, but Long Feiye as well. Helpless, she hastened to explain. “This is only a design for a medical experiment and nothing more than hypotheticals. At the very least, I know this experiment never came to pass. But we can’t eliminate all possibilities it offers, such as the chance of success.”

“Princess means to taking in medicine frequently, Qishao managed to ingest the essence of certain plants so that his blood retained its properties, thus allowing him to grow and control thorny thistles? And because of this, Qishao’s own body was affected, turning it both human and plant? If that’s the case, it’s not strange that he can control plants nurtured from his own blood,” Gu Beiyue muttered.

Gu Qishao looked down at his body and laughed. “Haha, so this old man really wasn’t human!”

Everyone looked at him sternly, not finding his joke funny at all. 

“If that’s the case, how would you explain his inability to age, die, or get poisoned?” Long Feiye asked.

Han Yunxi creased her brows and lost herself in thought. Suddenly, she looked up and exclaimed, “It’s very possible that Qishao doesn’t have an undying body at all. He just has incredible recovery rates that make it impossible to injure him. Back at the maze, I sensed poison in his body, which means he can still retain toxins. It’s just that the poison has no effects on him--probably because he has immunity!”

“Recovery rates and immunity...could it be a result of the plant essence in his blood?” Gu Beiyue wondered.

“Then what about my unaging?” Gu Qishao asked.

“Qishao, there are many plants that take longer than humans to mature and live longer lifespans. Some plants grow in the earth or underground. There are also certain types of turtles, fish, snakes, and other unknown animals that live for a long, long time, at least a few centuries or more. Some can even last for thousands of years,” Han Yunxi said serously.

“So it’s not that he doesn’t age, but that he ages extremely slowly…” Long Feiye studied Gu Qishao meaningfully as he laughed out loud again.

“Poison lass, that really does make some sense!” he chortled.

“Assuming this basis is true, the vines grown from your blood but not your bloodstream lacks enough essence to move on its own, so you have to control them. Nor can it possess the same undying features. However, the ones sprouting from your bloodstream take your blood as nutrients, so they’re identical to your body: undying, unaging, and immune to poisons,” Han Yunxi summarized.

“Princess, if that’s the case, then what happens to Qishao when all of his internal essence is sucked dry one day?” Gu Beiyue asked hastily.

Han Yunxi couldn’t answer that question, because everything she’d mentioned now was pure conjecture. The theoretical experiment she had proposed was no more than that: a theory. 

She shook her head and said, “Everything’s just guesswork.”

“Princess, if we follow Gu Yuntian’s methods, could we try experimenting on mice?” Gu Beiyue asked.

“That’s an idea!” Han Yunxi was certain. Perhaps they could find a way to restore Gu Qishao to normal or figure out why his body had changed. No matter what happened, it was better than sitting around clueless.

Gu Beiyue looked at the list of medicine and said, “I’ll prepare the ingredients right away!”

Long Feiye spoke up then. “In other words, could the creation of Poison Gu humans be similar to this ‘extracting essence’ thing you guys were talking about? In the past, the snow wolves ate poison plants for food. Maybe they contained essence as well? If that’s the case, why can the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion dispel the immortality of Poison Gu humans?”

His questions reminded everyone that while Bai Yanqing and Gu Qishao were different, they also shared many similarities. Everyone fell into thought. Back when they read the records of the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion inside the wordless stele, they learned the origins of the poison and the snow wolves’ immortal bodies. It wasn’t a trait inherited from birth, but from ingsting the poison plants of the Skypit. Later on, the Poison Sect saw the snow wolves couldn’t die and sought to find the reasons. They discovered a large field of withered poison plants in the Skypit that were all missing their fruits--the very poisonous plants eaten by the snow wolves.

There were a total of 49 poisonous plants in the Skypit, of which 10 were kept alive in the glazed wall around the sacrificial altar. The Poison Sect took back the 49 withered plants and researched them in tandem with the plants of the glazed wall until they created a medicine for an undying body. For the sake of confusing the masses, they called it a ‘Poison Gu human’ so the world would assume it was a body nurtured through care. In fact, one only needed to take the medicine to become immortal, and that pill was called the Poison Pill. 

Meanwhile, the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion was a mixture of the 49 poison plants, crushed and mixed with Ten-Thousand Year Corpse Water and left to set until three years passed. When it was mixed with the five elemental poisons and various ten-thousand year poisons, it could nullify the effects of the Poison Pill.

To this day, the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and Poison Gu humans retained their disguises. The saying went that whoever owned the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion owned the world because they were the only ones capable of nullifying Poison Gu humans. It’d be better to say that those who owned the undying Poison Gu humans owned the world.

If the Poison Sect had created countless Poison Pills and raised multiple undying humans, then it’d be a cinch for them to take over Cloud Realm Continent.

Thinking back to the records beyond the wordless stele, then back to Gu Qishao’s body, Han Yunxi murmured, “Bai Yanqing and Gu Qishao’s body are only different in one way. Bai Yanqing will age, but Qishao doesn’t. Bai Yanqing’s lifespan is the same as a normal human, while Gu Qishao will live longer than usual. Could it be…”

“Could it be that the snow wolves ate plants with certain essences, just as Qishao grew up from the womb taking medicines with plant essences as well?” Gu Beiyue finished. “It’s just that the exact essences differed!”

“So if the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion could break through Bai Yanqing’s undying body, something else might do the same for Qishao as well?” Long Feiye finished.

Everyone exchanged looks at those words. They were supremely relived that they hadn’t used the nine toxic teardrops on Bai Yanqing, but also worried that Han Chen had already used them up himself!

“I still have some leftover Perplexing Butterfly Illusion here. Let’s get those nine toxic teardrops back. We can definitely study them to find out something!” Han Yunxi declared.

“Yes! Princess, we need Bai Yanqing back too! We can use him to test out that theoretical medical experiment. If it works out, we’ll be able to find a way to save Qishao!” Gu Beiyue cried.

Han Yunxi decided immediately. “Long Feiye, let’s go! To the underground palace!”

“There’s no guarantee that senior Han Chen will give us the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and Bai Yanqing,” Gu Beiyue was worried.

“Then we’ll just have a talk with him. At worst...” Han Yunxi narrowed her eyes, “I’ll threaten him! I’m sure the Mysterious Continent has plenty of people who know nothing of the Wolf Sect’s origins!”

1. I don’t know what kind of magical medical experiments these are but they sound pretty incredible. Googling hasn’t given me any results, so link me if you find something on your own!

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Ruyi's Thoughts

So, our GQS is literally a plantman (maybe). Just when you thought the troubles were all over, here comes another puzzle for our protagonists.

Here's a question for all readers: if GQS grew a vine from his bloodstream and cut it off for you to cook, would you be eating meat or vegetables?