The next thing they knew, Long Feiye had stuffed the pills down Gu Qishao’s open mouth. He didn’t have time to react before swallowing the pills down. He grabbed a pitcher of water from the table and gulped down multiple mouthfuls before he managed to get them past his throat.
“Long Feiye, your mother!” Gu Qishao was a devastating beauty, but he was quite masculine when he cursed. Still, that didn’t put people off him at all.
Long Feiye simply picked up his teacup without a word, putting Gu Qishao on guard again. Han Yunxi rolled her eyes and silently withdrew from this fight. She still couldn’t believe that these two were actually working together now...no, it should be that she still couldn’t believe they could cooperate in the first place!
As soon as she left the room, a clatter rose up within. She figured it was better to find a quiet place to cultivate than waste time with those two. Ever since she received the secret cultivation manual from the poison storage space, she’d been working hard in private to master its contents. Sometimes she wouldn’t even sleep all night just so she could practice until dawn. Fortunately, she was practicing mental cultivation, which didn’t require too much effort or fatigue from her body. By now, she’d gotten to the point where it was effortless to take a toxic item---such as Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, or Lil Thing---and store them into her space. It took more mental gymnastics to bring them in and out, however.
Thus, Han Yunxi resolved to do more practice with Lil Thing. Sometimes she’d call it out, then put it back in. Lil Thing was lazy, so it didn’t mind at first, but eventually, it grew angry enough to bare its fangs. This time, Han Yunxi had hardly called it out when it made noises of protest and glared at her. But since Han Yunxi was concentrating wholly on cultivating with her eyes closed, she ignored it. Lil Thing was nothing more than a paper tiger in front of its Mama Yunxi---its bark was worse than its bite. When it saw that Mama Yunxi was ignoring it, it shriveled. It jumped onto Mama Yunxi’s body for another nap when it caught the scent of new poisons---flavors and types it’d never tried before. It immediately grew alert and accurately pinpointed the items in Mama Yunxi’s sleeve. Over the past few days, it’d been doing nothing but hiding out in the poison storage space to drink Water of Ten-Thousand Poisons, to the point that it was getting sick of the taste. Now it could finally taste something different.
There were only three poison pills in the sleeve. Lil Thing swallowed the first two whole, but savored the last one bit by tiny bit as it munched through it carefully. Because it was concentrating so much on the taste, it finally realized that something about it was off. The pill contained something delicious that it found intimately familiar, but it couldn’t figure out what it was. Lil Thing tasted it again, very carefully, but it wasn’t until the entire pill was gone that it realized what it was eating.
These pills contained Gu Qishao’s blood!
Back when Mama Yunxi had been attacked by archers, it’d tasted something funny about Gi Qishao’s blood. The white-robed gentleman had noticed it too, though Lil Thing had no idea what he had found out. Lil Thing itself wasn’t very sure either, only that the poisonous blood it was eating was very similar to the blood flowing in its own poison veins. It was probable that this was Gu Blood[1. Gu Blood (蛊血) - the Gu here is the same as the one found in Poison Gu human, and refers to a legendary venomous insect.] from the various bloods of ten-thousand poisons, though it still wasn’t an exact match. In any case, Lil Thing had never tried Gu Blood personally, so it didn’t have the ultimate answer. It only knew it was a great healing agent for its own body and about 100 times more effective than other poisons.
Where did Mama Yunxi get these pills? Did Gu Qishao give them to her? Does Gu Qishao want me to recover faster? Thinking up to here, Lil Thing quickly scurried out of the sleeve and cheeped at Mama Yunxi, but she was too immersed in her cultivation to notice him.
Lil Thing was certain that Papa Long must have beaten the brains out of Gu Qishao. Otherwise, he’d never give up his poison blood like that---it was harmful to both his body and inner qi.
Currently, Long Feiye and Gu Qishao had stopped their meaningless fight in the nearby room. If they were really serious, they’d make a greater racket than this. After making sure that Han Yunxi was gone, Long Feiye paused before asking coldly, “Isn’t there a way to cure your undying body?” He had been considering the question ever since Gu Qishao left that night.
“None,” Gu Qishao replied. The joke he made to Han Yunxi in the past really was nothing more than a jest. His condition was incurable!
“Then why were you so keen on investigating Han Yunxi’s origins in the past?” Long Feiye would always been sharp and clear-headed. Even if he and Gu Qishao were allies now, he didn’t forget this question.
“I wanted to check whether she was a poisons woman so I could use her skills against the medical academy!” This too, was Gu Qishao’s original plan when he learned more about Han Yunxi.
Long Feiye laughed coldly, but Gu Qishao spoke up before he could comment. “Heheh, now why did this old man end up with nothing at all after all that?” If he had revealed Han Yunxi’s status as a scion of the Poison Sect to the world, she would have become public enemy number one.
Long Feiye disliked talking about women with other men, especially if the woman in question was Han Yunxi. “You’ll never get that chance in this lifetime!” he warned coldly.
He rose to leave, but Gu Qishao held him back and handed him a porcelain bottle. “This medicine really is for nourishing the brain and mental facilities.”
When he saw that Long Feiye was going to refuse him, Gu Qishao relented and tried, “She won’t take it from me, so just say you found it yourself!”
Would Long Feiye want that? Definitely not!
“Your lordship can take care of her health just fine. There’s no need for you to get involved!” he tossed back.
“Long Feiye, you’ve got guts! You better make sure to protect her for the rest of her life. Don’t give this old man a single chance, or else I won’t hold back!” Gu Qishao said coldly.
Long Feiye didn’t reply, but he did kick up a pebble from the ground in Gu Qishao’s direction. Gu Qishao swerved to the side just as the rock went flying into the wall with a tiny crater. Gu Qishao snorted contemptuously and watched until Long Feiye’s form vanished from the courtyard before he suddenly recalled something important. His recent trip to the medical academy had helped him inadvertently pick up some intel.
Gu Qishao quickly chased after Long Feiye, who had tracked down Han Yunxi. When she saw them coming one after the other, she gave up any thoughts of cultivation. Her heart couldn’t help but feel depressed! I can’t even go hide in a corner now?
But Gu Qishao then told them both something unexpected. “The head of the Council of Elders at Medical City, Head Elder Ling, has gone to Tianning’s western capital with Lady Lianxin.”
Long Feiye grew alarmed. “Who invited them to help Tianhui?” That was the first thing that came to his mind. If Emperor Tianhui recovered, then the Chu Clan would have no chance to seize power anymore.
But Gu Qishao told them something even more surprising. “The Chu Clan invited them. Do you think they’re really there to save Tianhui?”
Although it had been years since Gu Qishao had been in Medical City, he still had ways of finding out secret information.
“Chu Qingge’s stomach?” Long Feiye immediately understood.
“Chu Qingge’s only four months into her pregnancy. What could they possibly do?” Han Yunxi couldn’t figure it out. If they really wanted her to give birth to a son, they could simply switch the baby at birth if it was a she. Why involve Head Elder Ling in all of this?
Lady Lianxin must have played an integral part in getting Head Elder Ling to accept the Chu Clan’s invitation at all. Just from that one point, Han Yunxi was certain the move was made to deal with them. After all, Lady Lianxin was still harboring a grudge from the events of the Grand Medicine Testing Convention. Gu Qishao couldn’t figure it out, either. A four-month old fetus was far too old to be subjected to the same experiments that he had undergone. But why else would Head Elder Ling show up in person? Lady Lianxin’s slutty charms weren’t enough to bribe him out for this mission otherwise.
“Find Gu Beiyue and ask him!” Gu Qishao blurted out.
“Right, send an urgent message to ask!” Han Yunxi said hastily.
A complicated look flickered past Long Feiye’s eyes, but he quickly agreed. Still, he didn’t end up sending any letter to Pill Fiend Pharmacy, but a messenger to Third Elder Shen Jueming instead. Chu Xifeng was dispatched to track down Gu Beiyue’s whereabouts instead. After they left Pill Fiend Pharmacy, Gu Beiyue had supposedly departed as well to work at one of the branch stores. But Chu Xifeng didn’t find any sign of him in those establishments.
Long Feiye was now very curious to know exactly where he had gone.
Gu Beiyue had planned to stay a few extra days in Medical City before hearing of Long Feiye’s arrival at Thousand Buddha Cave. He thus came over here instead since the distance wasn’t great. Han Yunxi now took the chance to tell him about the Wood of Ten-Thousand Poisons, leaving him both delighted yet bewildered.
“It’s on the thousand-year ginkgo tree? That’s a hypertoxic poison, so how could it coexist with a tree?”
Han Yunxi couldn’t figure it out, either. It was a pity they couldn’t see that tree for themselves, or else she might’ve been able to analyze something from it. She wasn’t certain if she could simply absorb the poison outright from the tree, either. Everything required sight on her end, but it was hard to even catch a glimpse.
Gu Qishao glanced at Long Feiye. “Shall we scope out a path tonight?”
Long Feiye agreed. The reason he and Han Yunxi had settled down in this little town was to 1) keep an eye on the movements of Western Zhou and the Chu Clan and 2) gain a better understanding of the Thousand Buddha Cave. He was looking forward to Emperor Kang Cheng’s actions against the Chu Clan over the next three months, as well as the Chu Clan’s own moves three months later, once Duanmu Baiye was out of confinement and the Thousand Buddha Caves opened up for prayer!
Of course, he was also anticipating Third Elder Shen’s reply. He refused to believe that the Chu Clan would comply with his threats and requirements lying down. Because Western Zhou wasn’t his permanent abode, it would take time and patience to stir up its waters.
Once business had concluded, Han Yunxi excused herself and had her guard Xu Donglin sent a letter to Pill Fiend Pharmacy addressed to Mu Linger. Now that Gu Qishao was finally back, she could give a proper update to the girl. Who knew if Mu Linger would cry with joy at the news?
Meanwhile, Long Feiye, Gu Qishao, and Tang Li all headed towards Thousand Buddha Cave that night. Although the managed to enter the gates of the temple, they couldn’t proceed any further than that for fear of startling all the sentries posted beyond the entrance. In the end, they had to retreat.
A few days later, news came from White City that someone had reported the Chu Clan for misappropriating soldiers’ pays and provisions. Emperor Kang Cheng issued a decree that confined General Chu within the capital until a thorough investigation had been made. Without a doubt, he was starting to make his move. Long Feiye had expected the Chu Clan to be busying themselves into a sorry state, but their actions two months later stunned both him and all of Western Zhou!
Just what did the Chu Clan do?