Gu Beiyue could only be certain that Chu Yunyi hadn’t told his identity to Ning Cheng, or else the man would never ignore him or release him so easily like he did. In the past, the Ning Family of the Di Clan had loyalty on par to the Shadow Clan for the West Zhou imperials! The Di Clan had never involved themselves in politics and only did business, but what about their present descendents? Ning Cheng had hidden himself in Tianning and gained control of one-third of its military might, then colluded with Chu Qingge to control the emperor and order about the nobles. What did he want? Was the Di Clan’s Ning Family now the same as they were in the past?
Gu Beiyue’s eyes dimmed with his complex thoughts.
“Doctor Gu, what’s wrong?” Han Yunxi could tell something was up.
“Nothing, I was just surprised that so many changes would overtake the western regions in just a month,” Gu Beiyue said simply, but he was trying to sound Han Yunxi out. He wanted to know what exactly had happened to change everything in such a short time. Being locked up had kept him ignorant, which put him at a disadvantage when dealing with Long Feiye.
But Han Yunxi only sighed without elaborating on the particulars. “Don’t worry about anything else. It’s more important to treat your own wounds first. Your body needs plenty of rest too. Come on, are you writing your own prescription or should I get others to do it?”
Gu Beiyue smiled. “Myself is fine.” He tossed out a few ingredient names for Han Yunxi to write down, after which she immediately went to get the goods. She hadn’t had a moment’s rest since entering this room, a fact that Long Feiye saw and noted in his heart. It’d be best if he could just keep this woman locked up in a room forever, but he knew that was impossible with Han Yunxi. Once he was sure she was gone, he strode back inside to find Gu Beiyue waiting for him.
“Why?!” Long Feiye continued the exact same question from before. Perhaps Gu Beiyue might have answered him already if Han Yunxi hadn’t interrupted. In the end, the question was Why did you purposely get close to Han Yunxi?
Gu Beiyue had been waiting for this chance as well to have a good talk with Long Feiye. Even if he’d been exposed as a member of the Shadow Clan, he could still keep his cool. Faced with Long Feiye’s icy gaze, he simply replied, “Because she’s an orphan of the Poison Sect.”
A complicated look flickered across Long Feiye’s eyes. Does Gu Beiyue not know of her other origins? Despite his doubts, he kept a calm face and waited for the man to continue. His tranquil reaction sent waves billowing in Gu Beiyue’s heart instead.
“Could it be that Your Lordship long knew this fact?” Since when had Long Feiye found out? Was it from someone in the Mu Clan? If so, then does he know that she’s the West Qin imperial heir as well?
Only Medicine City’s Mu Clan held that secret, after all. He had found a clue himself while digging through his late grandfather’s things years ago. It’d taken him as far as Medicine City and tons of effort before he tracked down Mu Xin. But by then, the woman had been missing for years. All that was left were rumors that she’d had a liaison with a heir to the Poison Sect. What others considered hearsay, he took as his only clue. Unfortunately, it led him on another fruitless chase for years. He took that time to thoroughly understand the Poison Sect and discovered that the Xuan gold door located in its Skypit could only be unlocked by the blood of the Poison Sect heirs. He’d given up hunting after that until Han Yunxi’s appearance renewed his hopes. He had been attracted by her aura when first meeting her at General Mu’s estate, but it was her strange acupuncture and poison skills that truly caught his attention.
Even though he knew her skills didn’t exist in the original Poison Sect, he was certain the two were connected. All of Cloud Realm Continent’s poison circles originated from the Poison Sect, so such high-level abilities could be internal practices left as the Sect’s innermost secrets. From then on, he started tracking down Han Yunxi’s origins. Because the history of the Han Clan was perfectly clear, Lady Tianxin became the most suspicious party. So he directed his energies there and discovered that the woman was related to Medicine City’s Mu Clan, thus allowing all the pieces to fall into place. If Lady Tianxin was Mu Xin, then Han Yunxi would have to be the daughter of Mu Xin and that Poison Sect heir. But that meant she was the West Qin imperial heir as well. For the sake of verifying his hypothesis, he lured Han Yunxi to the Skypit and tested her with the Xuan gold door, which opened with her blood!
But these were all through using clues left to him by his grandfather in the past. How could Long Feiye have any inkling of them? The man’s stony countenance only made Gu Beiyue feel restless.
He was afraid! This was his worst fear. If Long Feiye long knew of Han Yunxi’s origins, then did he dote on her because he loved her, or because he wanted to use her? Everyone had been stunned by the news of the Duke of Qin spoiling his wangfei because no one expected the icy man to ever love a woman, much less yield to her.
“Your Lordship long knew of her origins with the Poison Sect,” Long Feiye admitted.
Gu Beiyue wanted to test whether he knew about the West Qin imperial clan as well, but the words died on his lips time and time again. He had to be extra prudent because Long Feiye was a hard man to read. If he had no idea, then slipping this information now would only increase suspicion on himself. Finally, Gu Beiyue chose to remain silent.
Seeing this, Long Feiye began to do his own calculations. He wanted to test whether Gu Beiyue knew that Han Yunxi was the West Qin imperial heir, but he had no idea how to start. It was hard to question someone as shrewd as Gu Beiyue. Suppose the doctor had no idea to begin with? His questions would only lead the other to suspect Han Yunxi instead. And if Gu Beiyue already knew, then questioning further would only expose himself. He too, fell silent and waited for Gu Beiyue to continue. Just like that, the two astute men stopped speaking.
Eventually, Long Feiye broke the silence first, because he couldn’t afford to wait when Han Yunxi was coming back soon. Without revealing a thing, he said coldly, “Gu Beiyue, you haven’t answered your lordship’s question yet!”
Gu Beiyue inwardly sighed at Long Feiye’s depths. It was impossible to read his thoughts with such a question, so all he could do was say, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, this one did not purposely get close to esteemed wangfei. Finding out her lineage was simply a matter of coincidence.”
“What kind of coincidence?” Long Feiye demanded.
“Does Your Highness still remember the Xuan gold door?” Gu Beiyue asked as he stalled. Every word he used against Long Feiye had to be chosen carefully. Diverting the topic was the best way to buy himself time to think. Unfortunately, Long Feiye didn’t answer beyond a nod, forcing Gu Beiyue to continue again.
“Only blood of the Poison Sect heirs can unlock the Xuan gold door. The Poison Sect’s poison beast recognize them as their masters too. That’s why the saying goes, those who open the Xuan gold door are masters of the poison beast. Under such pressing circumstances, even this one was surprised when the door suddenly opened. After some thought, I recalled how esteemed wangfei’s fingers were bleeding and realized she must have a birth secret.” As Gu Beiyue spoke, he added, “Your Highness Duke of Qin, this one originally went to the Skypit to take the venom of the poison beast’s fangs as an ingredient to enhance the efficacy of certain medicines. When I ran into esteemed wangfei, I first thought to pressure her to help me with her poison skills and capture the creature, but all that came to naught when she opened the doors herself. Because this one knows...it’s impossible to change the poison beast’s master once it’s chosen for itself.”
“Xuan gold door…” Long Feiye seemed to be muttering to himself.
“Exactly! It really was a surprise,” Gu Beiyue paused to think, before probing cautiously, “Even so, everything makes sense in hindsight. Esteemed wangfei has exquisite poison skills. She’s not carrying on the skills of Doctor Han, so they must have come from Lady Tianxin. The Han Clan specializes in medicine and has nothing to do with the Poison Sect. Lady Tianxin’s origins are a mystery, so she must be a woman of that same Sect!”
Long Feiye was surprised. He never expected Gu Beiyue to discover Han Yunxi’s Poison Sect origins just through the Xuan gold door. For now, he didn’t seem to realize that Lady Tianxin and Mu Xin were one and the same. Mute Granny had said as well, that she was the only one who knew Mu Xin’s true identity. If Gu Beiyue had no idea, then he couldn’t figure out that Mu Xin was connected with the West Qin imperial clan, either.
From another angle, if Gu Beiyue did know Han Yunxi was the imperial orphan, he would have made a move long ago. It was unthinkable that he hadn’t done anything up to this point.
After drawing his conclusions, Long Feiye accused him, “You entered Pill Fiend Pharmacy with ulterior motives!”
“Your Highness misunderstands. This one admires esteemed wangfei’s poison arts and respects her as a person. There were no other reasons. Joining Pill Fiend Pharmacy not only makes it easy to practice medicine, but also repays my life-saving debt to esteemed wangfei as my savior. If not for her please, this one would have long died at Empress Dowager Li’s hands.”
“A Shadow Clan member like you still treats a trifling Tianning empress dowager so seriously?” Long Feiye scoffed.
Gu Beiyue’s eyes glittered guardedly before he gave a helpless smile. “Your Highness Duke of Qin may be unaware, but my Shadow Clan has declined. Right now there’s no one left but this weak and sickly member. The Shadow Clan itself...hehe, has long disappeared.”
“Really? The Nether and Shadow Clans certainly put on a good show in the past to preserve the West Qin imperial heir. Now the Nether Clan’s Chu Family has already proclaimed to the world that they’re searching for the royal orphan to restore the dynasty. The Chu Clan hid themselves in Western Zhou and used their military might to revolt. Your Shadow Clan hid in Tianning and now infiltrated Pill Fiend Pharmacy on purpose. What are your motives?” Long Feiye asked coldly.
Gu Beiyue knitted his brows as his heart gave a lurch. He had no idea that Chu Yunyi had exposed the truth of the past while he was still locked up! That man deserves death! Heaven knew how would be searching for hints of the missing heir now? Resisting the pain in his leg and shoulders, he climbed off the bed and stood leaning against the bed. But Long Feiye only looked at him with cold and pitiless eyes...