The Nether Clan.
From what Han Yunxi understood, this was one of the Seven Noble Families and a supporter of the West Qin imperial clan. But during the final battle, they suddenly turned traitor and killed the West Qin’s last imperial son.
Ever since the white-robed gentleman from the Shadow Clan had appeared, Han Yunxi had begun to suspect her possible connections with the West Qin, as well as hunting down any and all records related to the two Qins, the Great Qin Empire, and the Seven Noble Families. Unfortunately, any and all records pertaining to the Great Qin had been destroyed. Those that were left were rare and scarce. Most of her information came from popular rumors, but she couldn’t sift the facts from fiction there. Moreover, she had lost interest in the West Qin ever since Lady Lianxin revealed her father’s origins. She figured the Shadow Clan gentleman must have been aiming for Lil Thing instead of her when they first met. If she really was the West Qin heir, the white-robed gentleman should’ve told her everything long ago. There was no need for him to play ignorant, right?
Now, Han Yunxi couldn’t help but to feel stunned. Western Zhou’s Chu Clan is actually the descendents of the Nether Clan? How did Long Feiye find out? Was it because of that Driving Arrow Arts? Now that Long Feiye had found out the secret and had Chu Tianyin in his hands, the Chu Clan was probably going to be in big trouble. Although the East and West Qin imperial clans had died out after the fall of the Great Qin Empire, the Seven Noble Families had lived on. Even now, many countries in Cloud Realm Continent still admired and feared their prowess.
In the eyes of the people, the bloodline of the Seven Noble Families was beyond being honored and respected. They families ran old and deep, their power and influence unmistakable. All those in positions of power took precautions against the group. Without sufficient courage and confidence, no one would try to draw one of the clans to their side lest they destroy themselves first. Han Yunxi was quite certain that the emperor of Western Zhou lacked the breadth of mind or magnanimity to confidently allow the Nether Clan to stay by his side.
It looks like there’ll be a good show in Western Zhou soon. Maybe the Chu Clan will lose the support of the Western Zhou imperial clan before Chu Qingge ever gives birth to her baby.
Currently, Chu Qingge posed no threat in Han Yunxi’s eyes; she was more looking forward to what might happen next. Which woman wouldn’t be extra interested in the fate of the girl who cast covetous eyes at her husband?
“Long Feiye, you...you recognized the Driving Arrow Arts!” Witch Aunt was even more stunned than Han Yunxi.
Although she and Chu Tianyin had resolved to kill all witnesses when using the Driving Arrow Arts, that was only to keep their skills secrets from any enemies of the Chu Clan. She never thought Long Feiye would recognize the technique. Amongst the Seven Noble Families, only the Shadow Clan’s shadow arts were well known to the world. Despite this, the rest of their clan skills were a secret. The other six clans had their own secret skills as well. Few people knew about them in the past, much less would now.
Everyone knew the Nether Clan was skilled in archery and often used bows, but intel about the Driving Arrow Arts had never been publicized! So, how did Long Feiye know?
“If you don’t want to go back alive, your lordship doesn’t mind keeping you here,” Long Feiye said coldly. He had only let Witch Aunt go as a show of strength to the Chu Clan. With Chu Tianyin in their hands, he could figure out everything he needed to know while deliberately causing chaos in Western Zhou. It was never his intention to let the Chu Clan off at all. After all, now that he was certain they were the Nether Clan, he had to take them seriously.
It had been only three generations earlier that the Nether and Shadow Clans had joined up to protect West Qin’s imperial heir. The Nether Clan would definitely know what the Shadow Clan was up to now. For the sake of protecting the West Qin’s surviving heir and getting revenge in East Qin’s name, he wouldn’t spare the Nether or Shadow Clans!
Witch Aunt didn’t want waste any more words, but she viciously tossed back, “Long Feiye, since you know my Chu Clan is the Nether Clan, you should understand that a trifling Tianning imperial scion can’t hope to touch our strength! If you dare to harm a hair on Tianyin’s head, the Nether Clan will never forgive you!”
She flew off as soon as she spoke. Long Feiye’s lips only curled into a bloodthirsty smile. Tianning can’t hope to touch the Nether Clan’s strength? Yet, what of the great imperial clan of East Qin?
Before he killed the head of the Nether Clan, he was going to force the man to prostrate himself in front of East Qin’s might!
“Chu Xifeng, deliver a letter to Western Zhou’s emperor. Say that Tianning’s Duke of Qin wishes to pay a call on the 15th of next month,” Long Feiye commanded coldly.
Chu Xifeng quickly left to fulfill his orders. That same night, Long Feiye’s group settled down to rest at a villa outside of Medical City. The unconscious Chu Tianyin was locked up in a secret jail cell. This was their time to rest, but nobody could fall asleep. Tang Li prepared a table full of wine and food in the courtyard and joked that it’d help everyone get over the shock of their recent experiences. But, Han Yunxi and the rest never went to join him. She was inside treating the arrow wound on Long Feiye’s arm. Long Feiye had completely forgotten about the injury while she had kept it in her mind. She could take care of it quickly, but took extra fine care since the patient was Long Feiye.
“What happened to you back there at the sacrificial altar?” Long Feiye asked.
“Nothing much. Maybe I was too tired and lost track of my thoughts,” Han Yunxi said simply. Even she hadn’t figured it out yet, so how was she supposed to explain it to Long Feiye? “How did you know the Driving Arrow Arts was a secret skill of the Nether Clan?”
“I came upon it randomly in a book. I was already beginning to suspect them on the basis of their archery skills,” Long Feiye was still basically telling the truth.
“I’ve heard that the Nether Clan were the prime culprits in destroying East Qin,” Han Yunxi remarked offhandedly.
Long Feiye fell silent for awhile before he changed the topic. “Just what kind of person put out those fires?”
“Could there still be people at the Poison Sect’s forbidden grounds? Or someone very familiar with the topography. Whoever it was, they weren’t hostile towards us,” Han Yunxi said seriously. Otherwise, they would’ve died in that underground palace long ago.
Long Feiye nodded in agreement. He wanted to delve deeper into the subject, but then Gu Qishao came in to urge, “What are you two still talking about in here? Come out and drink!”
He was obviously doing it on purpose, even banging loudly on the door so that they were forced to open it up. The first thing Han Yunxi saw was white gauze casually tied around Gu Qishao’s shoulder wound. Confused, she asked, “Didn’t we call for a doctor to specifically treat your injury?”
“I’m not used to them!” Gu Qishao drawled resentfully.
Han Yunxi glanced at the shabby dressing but saw that salve had been excellently applied, so she stopped worrying. After all, nobody knew better than Gu Qishao on how to use medicines. Meanwhile, Gu Qishao made to glance at Long Feiye’s dressing, his gaze turning gloomy at the sight.
They eventually made their way to the courtyard, where Gu Qishao began to ask about the fires as well. Unfortunately, none of them could come up with a satisfactory conclusion. It had all turned into a mystery by the end. Long Feiye didn’t want Han Yunxi to drink alcohol at all, but Gu Qishao kept trying to fill her cup.
“If you’re happy, you should drink,” Gu Qishao grinned, hiding the stubborn glint of his eyes.
Long Feiye didn’t answer, but his gaze sent a clear message: no drinking allowed. In truth, Han Yunxi herself didn’t want to drink, either. Peeved, Gu Qishao still poured Han Yunxi a cup.
“Poison lass, this is the first time this old man’s drank wine with you!”
“You won’t even honor me with one cup, do we still count as friends?”
Han Yunxi kept refusing him, but after a few back and forths, decided to relent. But Long Feiye simply took her cup and downed the drink in one gulp. Gu Qishao was amused. How could he bear to force Han Yunxi to drink? His real target was still Long Feiye.
“Long Feiye, you’re drinking for her, aren’t you? If that’s the case, you need to go double. Here, have two cups,” Gu Qishao grinned as his mood suddenly greatly improved.
Long Feiye still didn’t speak, but quickly downed two cups into his stomach. Han Yunxi rolled her eyes at Gu Qishao, who pretended he didn’t see. He wanted to test Long Feiye’s capacity for liquor tonight! Soon enough, he found another reason to offer Long Feiye some wine. Despite being a grown man, he still acted like a little boy when he was stubborn.
Tang Li watched from the sidelines, afraid to stick his nose in. He quietly drank his own wine while feeling depressed. How’s this supposed to be a recovery party? It’s simply a drinking contest. Fortunately, his big bro was in a good mood tonight as well. If it was any other day, he’d probably sent Gu Qishao flying with a kick. That fellow simply can’t tell good from bad.
Meanwhile, Han Yunxi just yawned as she watched them. She was tired! After sitting for awhile, she simply went back to sleep. Soon enough, Long Feiye followed in her wake without so much as a goodbye. Gu Qishao stopped urging him to drink and went to follow in silence. Tang Li was forsaken by the trio like an abandoned child, sitting there blankly by himself. He felt that something about the entire scene was off, but couldn’t tell what. In the end, he had ended up drinking alone. It’s our first time drinking together, but can’t we do it properly just once?
Long Feiye didn’t return to the rooms, but lightly leaped on top of Han Yunxi’s roof. Gu Qishao quickly followed to sit by his side. Long Feiye didn’t look at him, but his gaze was heavy. It didn’t look like he would sleep any tonight.
Gu Qishao yawned a few times in succession before he said, “Thanks!”
He’d made a special trip just to say these words. Back at the cliffs, he almost spilled the beans about his undying body to Han Yunxi.
Long Feiye didn’t reply.
Gu Qishao sat there a bit longer before rising to leave. Now, Long Feiye finally spoke. “You’ve guarded your secret for so long, but why did you try to reveal it earlier?”
“I was afraid that she’d cry,” Gu Qishao replied without the least hesitation.
“Would she?” Long Feiye asked coldly.
“Yes, she definitely would!” Gu Qishao might not be sure about everything, but he was certain of this fact.
Long Feiye fell silent, but he quickly asked, “Gu Qishao, is it so bad...being unable to die?”
Gu Qishao immediately laughed out loud as he answered. “What’s so great about it?”
“What’s not great about it?” Long Feiye countered.
“Heheh, Long Feiye. Do you think this old man’s anything like a human being?” Gu Qishao asked in a self-mocking tone. “Long Feiye, how many people in the world will want my life if they knew I couldn’t die?” Leaving aside the world, there were just those old coots back at the medical academy. If they ever caught wind of his secret, they’d definitely find any way possible to capture him and cut him open, just to research his origins.
Who wouldn’t want to know the secrets of eternal life?
“Long Feiye, suppose, one day the girl I like grows old and dies. What am I supposed to do then?” Gu Qishao asked next. It wasn’t easy to fall in love. After all that effort to love her, it was simply cruel to watch her grow old without him. But more painful than that was the reality that he could only watch her die and leave him first.
Long Feiye grew completely still.
Gu Qishao didn’t say anymore. Actually, none of those things hurt as much as the process that turned him from an innocent, ignorant child into this never dying, never aging freak. He was an adult now, but some nights, he would still break out into a cold sweat...