Chapter 1178: I'll be a mad and demented fool

Both Han Yunxi and Long Feiye grew anxious.

They stared at Han Yunxi’s swelling stomach and waited, but there was no reaction. Still, they didn’t stop staring in silence.

After a while, a small bump appeared on the surface of Han Yunxi’s stomach before swelling up. 

The little fellow was making a fuss!

Long Feiye couldn’t help it. He reached out to touch the spot with his hand. Instantly, the area flattened from sight. 

This was already the ninth time! 

Long Feiye had been anticipating the baby’s movements, but he was too busy and missed it multiple times. Thankfully, the kicks occurred more frequently this late in the pregnancy, so he finally had the luck to witness them in person. At first he only watched, but after a few times, he gave into his urge to touch. 

It wasn’t clear whether the little fellow was naughty or afraid, but he always hid when Long Feiye touched him.

“The ninth time, haha!” Han Yunxi laughed. Every time the baby kicked, she would touch him, causing him to kick harder. He seemed to like her touches very much. But Long Feiye’s touch only produced opposite results.[1]

“Is he afraid of me?” Long Feiye wanted to know. But it’d probably take him another couple of years to know for certain.

“Probably!” Han Yunxi nodded with a grin.

“What’s so scary about me?” Long Feiye muttered to himself. He leaned in close and pressed his ear against Han Yunxi’s stomach to listen for any sounds. But there was nothing.

Han Yunxi shoved him and said, “Enough, I’m going to bed. Are you sleeping?”

Han Yunxi knew Long Feiye wouldn’t sleep this early, so she was actually chasing him off. He and Gu Beiyue had gotten so engrossed in their chat that they even forgot to eat, so she suspected they had plenty to talk about. Meanwhile, she was extremely sleepy and didn’t have any energy to mix in even if she wanted to. Thus, she decided not to waste their time.

“Sleep now, I’ll stay with you,” Long Feiye wasn’t planning on leaving.

“Gu Beiyue dropped by because it was on his way. I think he’ll leave by tomorrow. Didn’t you want to establish an Imperial Physician Courtyard to hold direct jurisdiction over Medical and Medicine City? Take this chance to talk it over with him. You probably won’t see him for months after this,” Han Yunxi was serious.

A knowing husband looked after his wife just as a knowing wife looked after her husband. 

Long Feiye was waiting for these very words! He knew Han Yunxi would remain in the Rear Camp and sleep after that, not disturb him. Stroking her bangs, he smiled and said, “Then you be good and sleep.”

“Go already! I’m sleepy as death!” Han Yunxi urged.

Long Feiye still left only after exchanging a few more words. Once out the door, he quickly found Gu Beiyue and entered his rooms. “Where is he?” he asked.

Naturally, he meant Gu Qishao. Long Feiye was very clear on Gu Qishao’s true condition, but he never expected Gu Beiyue to show up. If he was here, there was no way in Hell that Gu Qishao hadn’t tagged along.

“He doesn’t want to see you. He just wanted me to come and gift the little master a red packet,” Gu Beiyue was helpless.

Long Feiye refused to accept such an explanation. “Where is he?” he asked again.

“Your Highness, you know as well. If he doesn’t want to see you or the princess, then none of us can find him,” Gu Beiyue was telling the truth. “I’ll leave first thing tomorrow. Qishao said he’d be waiting at one of the outposts 200 li away. This subordinate already lost track of his whereabouts from last night.”

Long Feiye didn’t say much, but sat down with a crease in his brows. Gu Beiyue fell silent as well before finally muttering, “Your Highness, Qishao…”

“...only has two months left at most.”

Gu Beiyue had already written as much in his letters. Judging from the speed of growth, the vines on Gu Qishao’s body would swallow up his heart and brain within the next two months. By then, Gu Qishao would vanish from this earth, leaving nothing but thorny thistles behind.

“Can’t the medical academy recreate the poisonous medicine from plague patients?” Long Feiye suddenly asked in a loud voice.

“We can’t. If it was any other medicine, we could use death row convicts, but one from plague…”

“How many people do you need?” Long Feiye asked before Gu Beiyue could finish.

“Your Highness!” Gu Beiyue’s voice was stern.

A plague was highly infectious, so creating poisonous medicine from its victims would mean forcing countless people to pay the cost. Over the past few months, Gu Beiyue had used at least ten death row convicts to experiment on. Although they had gotten permission from them first and given them plenty of benefits in exchange to sweeten the deal, Gu Beiyue still felt guilty about it all!

To a doctor, these were highly unscrupulous methods.

They wanted to save Gu Qishao, but if it came at the expense of forcing other people to relive Gu Qishao’s past suffering, neither him nor Gu Beiyue would feel at ease. 

Long Feiye hung his head, his face cold. “Recently, Chu Tianyin attacked a city in Western Zhou with a prison full of death row convicts. All of them have committed unpardonable evils. There’s around 50 prisoners.”

“We cannot,” Gu Beiyue’s gaze was steady as he added, “Moreover, it won’t be enough.”

Gu Yuntian had used a poisonous medicine created from the deadliest, most famous plague in Cloud Realm Continent history. Tens of thousands perished to the disease. How could a mere fifty men produce anything usable?

Long Feiye was struck speechless. He rose to his feet and asked, “Gu Beiyue, have you given up?”

“I haven’t!” Gu Beiyue replied immediately as he stood up.

Long Feiye turned to the door, tossing back a single sentence. “Return to Medical City this instant!”

When Long Feiye reached Han Yunxi’s quarters, he didn’t go instead. Instead, he stood there for a long time, debating whether to tell her the truth. Moreover, he had to wonder if she even had a chance to see Gu Qishao one last time within the next two months?

In front of Rear Camp, the fireworks were still going off in the skies, brilliant and bright. Unfortunately, they only lasted seconds in the night sky before fading into oblivion.

Gu Qishao’s smile was more dazzling than these fireworks. How much longer could he remain radiant? How much longer could he stay with them?

Long Feiye stared at the fireworks just as Gu Beiyue watched them from the entrance of his tent. He knew that Gu Qishao had to be nearby doing the same thing.


Currently, Gu Qishao was sitting on a large boulder atop a small hill behind Rear Camp. Along, he munched on a mantou while watching the fireworks show in the distance. His long, narrow eyes reflected their burst and glow.

After polishing off his food, the fireworks ended as well. “Gorgeous,” he muttered to himself, “It’s a pity they finish so fast.”

He lied down and gave a stretch, extending his limbs into a “大” character. The billowing black robes covered everyone part of his body except his face, which was as seductively charming as always.

In the wake of the fireworks, the world seemed still and dark. Nothing but the whistling of the north wind remained. Gradually, it blew up the corners of his dark robes and woke him up from his reverie. Amusing, he began to sing a folk song at the top of his lungs, one that Han Yunxi and the rest had listened to and laughed at.

Singing folk songs, folk songs are like spring river waters, a song here and a reunion there…”[2]

But as he sang, his rugged voice shifted with a change in lyrics.

“Thinking of a beauty, missing her day and night; 

A beauty is like a flower amongst the clouds[3] 

I can’t dream of returning to the southern mountains,

I laugh at life, but it laughs at me,

Who cares who ends up as Cloud Realm’s king

I’ll be a mad and demented fool on my own…”

Nobody was there to hear his song and smile, but Gu Qishao kept singing at the top of his lungs, easy and carefree. He used the tune of the folk song like those strongmen in the mountains, hollering out his true feelings in music. 

In this world, his existence was cruel, pure, and real.

Gu Qishao didn’t want to go anywhere during his last two months of life. He wanted to stay put and watch the smoking rising from the roof of Rear Camp during the day, the shining starlight during the night. Then he would quietly spread his roots into the ground and give bloom to flowers more radiant than any in the mountains…


Early next morning.

Gu Beiyue had sat in his room for an entire night before coming to a decision. He found Chu Xifeng before he left and told him to send a letter to Mu Linger to assist him in Medical City. 

He never mentioned Gu Qishao in the letter, only that there was a patient currently on a treatment plan. Without saying goodbye, he used the fastest speed possible to get to the outpost hundreds of li away. 

Long Feiye had watched over Han Yunxi all night until she woke up. Pretending that everything was fine, he gave her his usual morning kiss on the forehead and asked what she wanted to eat.

Chu Xifeng soon arrived to report. “Your Highness, princess, Doctor Gu received an emergency summons and rushed back to Medical City.”

“What kind of emergency?” Han Yunxi asked quickly.

“I think they found some sort of medicine. This subordinate isn’t clear on the details,” Chu Xifeng replied.

Before Han Yunxi could pursue the matter, another shadow guard arrived with Ning Jing’s letter! She opened it up and exclaimed in joy, “Long Feiye, Ning Jing is coming! She’s bringing Tang Li with her and her teeth are basically fine!”

“Excellent,” Long Feiye also missed his little brother.

That very afternoon, snowflakes began to fall from the sky. The storm grew bigger and didn’t stop until the third day of the new year.

The weather was bitterly cold. Perhaps the temperatures were to blame, but Han Yunxi began to have trouble breathing. Fourth Young Miss Ren looked after her constantly with Long Feiye close behind. 

Soon afterwards, Long Feiye received another letter from Gu Beiyue. Gu Qishao hadn’t gone back to Medical City, but was living near the Rear Camp. Gu Beiyue had waited a whole day at the outpost before he found out and soon doubled back to track Gu Qishao down.

But Gu Qishao refused to leave, giving Gu Beiyue no choice but to keep him company while ordering Lil Thing and the medicines from Medicine City to be brought over here. 

Long Feiye didn’t ask where they were living and neither did Gu Beiyue tell. 

Although spring was on the way, the temperatures kept getting colder. News from Northern Li spoke of an especially cold spring that led to snow disasters, especially far up north. Thanks to the snow blocking the roads, many villages were trapped without food or supplies, and massive famine ensued.

The reality was a slap in the face to the Baili and south central factions. Thank goodness Ning Cheng hadn’t advanced his troops, or else they would have suffered innumerable losses. 

This day, Long Feiye received Ning Cheng’s letter. Mass outbreaks of disasters had spread throughout Northern Li’s northern regions, starving the civilians and livestock to death. For the sake of preserving the military’s grain reserves, the Northern Li emperor kept refusing to distribute aid to his people. Instead, it was Ning Cheng who openly requested for more supplies so he could seize this chance to release his troops!

As soon as Long Feiye finished reading the letter, Chu Xifeng suddenly barged into the room.

“Your Highness, the princess is going to give birth! The princess is going to give birth!”

1. The baby’s gender isn’t specified yet, but writing “the little fellow” over and over again is repetitive, so I’m taking charge and adopting “he!” HYX wants a boy anyways. :)

2. Gu Qishao’s folk song is actually adapted from the 1960 film Liu Sanjie (Third Sister Liu) based on the story of the real life folk singer Liu Shanghua, who lived during China’s Song Dynasty. This also indirectly hints that the timeline of PGC’s “past” is located either during or after the Song Dynasty. :3 There are many covers and adaptations of the movie’s theme song, “Folk Songs are Like Spring River Waters,” including this odd East-West orchestral arrangement on YouTube that includes (badly translated) English subtitles. The link in the text also leads to a simple version of the song with strings accompaniment.

3. In Chinese poetry, “a beauty” (美人) can be used as a symbol for one’s wishes/desires/goals.

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Alright readers, start placing your bets. Are we having a girl or boy first, hehehe~?