Chapter 1168: Reduced to fodder

As Bai Yanqing’s breathing weakened, Han Yunxi’s heart seized up while Gu Beiyue silently knit his brows. Worse than losing hope was to see a glimpse of it before it was snatched away. This was despair.

In the silent room, both Han Yunxi and Gu Beiyue could sense Bai Yanqing growing weaker and weaker in front of them. Gu Qishao had already risen to his feet to stand in front of them, still wearing a grin. Long Feiye’s gaze was fixed on his sleeve--the one hiding the problematic arm.

Solemnity and dread suffused the cage as the very air seemed to weigh down on them, making it hard to breathe.

“It stopped!” Suddenly, Gu Beiyue cried out.

Han Yunxi didn’t answer, but her astonished expression said everything.

He was right! Bai Yanqing’s pulse had completely stopped!

“No…” Gu Beiyue released his hand listlessly. If they couldn’t find a solution, Gu Qishao would be in serious danger. He was already exhibiting abnormal symptoms on his arm!

“It can’t be! The records in the wordless stele couldn’t have all been lies! An antidote is an antidote; how could it kill anyone?” Han Yunxi stubbornly took Bai Yanqing’s pulse, refusing to accept reality.

“It’s alright, Poison lass, at the very worse Qi gege will--” Gu Qishao was quickly cut off.

“The pulse is back!” Han Yunxi exclaimed. “Gu Beiyue, hurry and check! It returned!”

In shock, Gu Beiyue quickly took Bai Yanqing’s wrist and realized his pulse had returned! Although it was very weak, it was unmistakable!

Finally, Gu Qishao grew tense. Now he carefully tested for Bai Yanqing’s breathing and concluded, “He’s still breathing!”

“He didn’t die! He’s not dead!” Han Yunxi looked at Gu Qishao with excitement. Gu Qishao couldn’t help but smile at her silly expression. 

“Princess, the pulse is changing,” Gu Beiyue was serious. Afraid to overlook anything, Han Yunxi proceeded to feel the pulse again and instantly sensed that it was similar to that of normal humans now. Moreover, they could detect through his pulse that Bai Yanqing was suffering from severe internal injuries and massive blood loss. If they didn’t save him now, he would die for real.

“It’s normal?” Gu Qishao asked anxiously.

“You finally know how to feel nervous?” Han Yunxi retorted seriously.

Only then did Gu Qishao sense his own agitation...he wanted to smile at Poison lass, but failed. 

...of course he was nervous! He desperately wanted to grow old with them!

“Qishao, take his blood, but as little as possible,” Gu Beiyue said, “I’ll try getting him a pill first to prevent any mishaps. Princess, I’ll leave the rest of you.”

If Bai Yanqing had lost his undying body, he would be at the mercy of these nearly fatal wounds. Gu Qishao carefully took a blood sample, afraid that too much would end the man’s life. Gu Beiyue brought over a pill and fed it into the man’s mouth, then treated his surface wounds. He finally exhaled in relief and broke into a pure, warm smile.

“The white bottle contains his original poisonous blood while the red one is his current normal blood,” Gu Qishao offered over the containers.

If Han Yunxi had modern tech on hand, it’d be simple to analyze the differences in the two bottles. Even so, she was confident that Gu Beiyue could figure out a way. The poison teardrop antidote was an amalgamation of Perplexing Butterfly Illusion and various Ten-Thousand Year Poisons. By the logic, would Gu Qishao’s cure be related to the vast quantities of medicines he ingested?

If they could collect all of the medicines Gu Qishao ever ate and made them into one, would that help cure Gu Qishao’s undying body?

Since they only had one portion of toxic teardrop antidote, it was impossible to perform further tests with it, but Qishao’s medicines weren’t so rare. They could use his vines as experimental subjects in his place. Gu Beiyue’s medical skills and Gu Qishao’s pharmacist knowledge should be enough to discover the antidote as long as their theory held true!

“Princess, the next step is hunting down all the medicine!” Gu Beiyue said.

“Yes! All the medicine and ingredients! This concerns Qishao’s very existence!” Han Yunxi was in a markedly better mood.

Gu Qishao was happy too. “Done, leave the list to me.”

“Do you need Linger’s help?” Han Yunxi asked.

Like last time, Gu Qishao shook his head. Han Yunxi shrugged and dropped the subject. After the left the cage, Long Feiye personally locked it. With Bai Yanqing’s undying body destroyed, his current skills and injuries would make it impossible to escape here, even with martial arts. Moreover, Bai Yanqing’s martial arts weren’t top-tier anyways.

Han Yunxi turned back for one last look at the man, her eyes filled with scorn. She wanted to wait until he woke up and discovered his immortality was gone. There was enough worth despairing over then! Forget about his other injuries. Even his teeth won’t grow back!

As soon as they left the prisons, Gu Qishao clamored that he was going to Pill Fiend Valley to track down the missing ingredients. 

“Just write up the prescription and send someone to fetch them for you. Why do you have to go on your own?” Han Yunxi askd.

Gu Qishao was part of the solution, after all. He needed to stick around and help Gu Beiyue research his blood. 

“There are a few ingredients only I can get. I’ll leave in the afternoon and return within ten days,” Gu Qishao declared.

Han Yunxi arched a brow at him and suddenly felt something was wrong. 

“What now, afraid of death?” Long Feiye said coldly.

“If I can recover, of course I want to do it quickly. Poison lass, promise me you’ll always keep this a secret. Don’t let that crybaby Mu Linger know or she’ll annoy me to death!” As Gu Qishao spoke, his gaze fell on her stomach. “And don’t tell that brat in the future too, in case it scares him into keeping his distance.”

Han Yunxi’s thoughts stopped wandering after the switch in topics. 

“Princess, just take care of the baby. After delaying for so long, it’s time for His Highness to return to the baracks. Leave this to this subordinate, you don’t have to worry,” Gu Beiyue said seriously.

If it was anyone else but Gu Beiyue, Han Yunxi would still be uneasy. As it were, she had no more qualms. She couldn’t do anything about the matter herself, so it was up to Gu Beiyue and Gu Qishao. Although Long Feiye said nothing, she knew he had to return to the army as soon as possible. The world wasn’t peaceful yet!

--

Gu Qishao would depart that afternoon. Gu Beiyue had to analyze the blood samples quickly before they dried. Han Yunxi hesitated, then said, “We’ll leave in the afternoon as well. This way, we can set off together.”

To get to the Tianning army camps from Medical City meant traveling east, the same direction as Pill Fiend Valley. They would be sharing the same route for at least a day before one headed east and the other south. Gu Beiyue wanted to speak up, but held back as a complicated look flitted across his face. 

With the princess’s smarts, she’ll get suspicious if I say any more. Since it’s only for a day, let Qishao do as he likes.

Gu Qishao was overjoyed and asked, “What do you want to eat? Qi gege will make preparations!”

Long Feiye was privately wondering whether he should laugh or cry. He was actually allowing Gu Qishao to treat Han Yunxi well! I must be losing my mind.

“No need!” As usual, Han Yunxi refused. “Just take a good look at that list to prevent any mistakes! Also, have Xu Donglin gather any ingredients you need. He’ll be loaned to you for now.”

In many cases, Xu Donglin could represent Long Feiye because he served directly at the man’s side. He had plenty of clout to his name. 

Han Yunxi left Xu Donglin so it’d be 1) convenient for Gu Beiyue and 2) easy for the man to report updates to them. After everything was settled, Gu Qishao was the first to leave to do who knows what. Han Yunxi discovered that her fingers wre swelling up, but she kept it from Long Feiye to seek out Fourth Young Miss Ren.

As soon as she left, Long Feiye entered Gu Beiyue’s study and got straight to the point. “What’s the matter with Gu Qishao?”

Gu Beiyue gave a start before smiling helplessly. Even if they could hide many things from the princess, it was impossible to escape His Highness’s sharp eyes.

“At present, it’s uncertain. If you have a change during the travels tomorrow, Your Highness should take a look at his arm. His flesh and blood are currently being eroded away by vine roots,” Gu Beiyue clarified. “If we can find the antidote in time and destroy his undying body, the condition should vanish. Otherwise, I’m afraid that Qishao’s body…”

“Will be completely devoured by vines?” Long Feiye finished coldly.

Although Gu Beiyue was reluctant to admit it, he nodded his head. “Yes!”

Long Feiye creased his brows in silence. In the end, he only let out a long sigh. Without a doubt, his heart felt stifled. 

“Your Highness, Qishao doesn’t want the princess to know. She’s currently pregnant, so it’s no good for her to feel too sad,” Gu Beiyue added.

“I know,” Long Feiye intoned. “How long will it take to gather all the ingredients on the list?” If he guessed right, Gu Qishao wasn’t planning to go plant-picking at Pill Fiend Valley at all. He simply wanted them both to return to the army as soon as possible.

“Last night, Qishao and I went over them. Ten of the plants are extremely hard to find. Even Pill Fiend Valley doesn’t have them. I’ve already sent a request to Pill King, but we’ll only get his reply tonight at the earliest,” Gu Beiyue said.

“Ten plants…” Long Feiye was taken aback. After all, ten was no small sum!

“Your Highness, these ten plants aren’t the greatest obstacle. The problem is that Gu Yuntian used the blood from patints who died of the plague to produce two more poisonous medicines during Qishao’s youth. To recreate them is even harder than tracking down ten rare plants,” Gu Beiyue’s tone grew heavy.

The so called “poisonous medicine” was a special type of pill created from the blood essence of a sick patient. Normal people who took such a pill would fall prey to the same disease as the original host. It would be hard to collect the full list--but even then, there was no guarantee that would save Qishao since it was only their first step!

“We’re not leaving!” Long Feiye declared.

Gu Beiyue grew alarmed. “Your Highness, please think thrice!”

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Things are looking pretty grim for both our undying pals~