Han Yunxi saw nothing but black when she turned around! Gu Qishao was dressed in his large dark robes, oversized hood, and face mask, thus completely hiding his features.
“Long time no see. You’re safe and sound, old man?” Han Yunxi teased. “When did you come back?”
“Just this morning,” Gu Qishao replied. “I brought Gu Beiyue too. You can tell Mu Linger to ask him if there’s anything she doesn’t understand in that medical text. If Gu Beiyue’s lost, then write a letter to ask old Pill King.”
Han Yunxi crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. “And then?”
“And then, I’ll go hunt for the Fire and Metal of Ten Thousand Poisons,” Gu Qishao said seriously.
“Then why don’t you tell her that yourself?” Han Yunxi asked.
“That lass is too annoying! She can pester me for three days and three nights without sleeping just to ask about this or that medicine. If this old man stays with her any longer, I’ll go crazy!” Gu Qishao thought a bit, then asked, “Poison lass, do you think that stinkin’ girl suspects something?”
“Have you resolved the Mu Clan’s issues?” Han Yunxi changed the subject.
Lady Lianxin had sacrificed herself for the sake of the Mu Clan. Right now, Medical City had already chased her and Head Elder Ling out. Their tarnished reputations had made them extremely unpopular and unable to earn a living anywhere. If Gu Qishao didn’t do some favors for the Mu Clan, Lady Lianxin wouldn’t just let the matter drop.
“I’ve discussed it with that lass already. She’ll take up the post of Mu Clan Head and the Council of Elders will return her two plots of land. Whether or not it’ll save the Mu Clan will depend on how much heart she puts into the work,” Gu Qishao said, before adding, “In any case, we’ve already settled things properly. Or rather, I spoke with her on behalf of Long Feiye. It has nothing more to do with this old man.”
Han Yunxi’s gaze turned complicated. “If she doesn’t put her heart into it, Lady Lianxin will probably come knocking at our doors to complain!”
“That has nothing to do with this old man either,” Gu Qishao said flippantly.
Han Yunxi gave him an especially scornful look. “If you don’t like her, why tease her at all?”
Gu Qishao gave Han Yunxi an equally scornful gaze. “I tease you everyday, so why haven’t you started liking me yet?”
Han Yunxi was too lazy to acknowledge that statement. She turned to leave, but Gu Qishao hastily stopped her with an even stronger gaze. “I’m joking, I’m joking! Why are you taking it so seriously?”
“Have you found any clues about the Fire or Metal of Ten Thousand Poisons?” Han Yunxi asked.
Gu Qishao shook his head. He’d been searching for a long time, but with no progress. Metal was hard to find to begin with, much less that of Ten Thousand Poisons. Meanwhile, he had no idea where to start with the fire. But he was certain about one thing. “Even without any leads, I’ll keep looking! Long Feiye and I have a pact!”
In fact, they had two. The first was that Gu Qishao would hide the truth of Mute Granny’s death from Han Yunxi while Long Feiye held the secret of Gu Qishao’s eternally undying body. The second was that Gu Qishao would help Long Feiye find a way to break through the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion while the latter would help him destroy Medical City. Of the two agreements, Han Yunxi was only aware of the second one.
Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were busy people who bustled about daily. Gu Qishao only wanted to do one thing in his lifetime, so he’d never forgotten his pacts with Long Feiye.
“When are you leaving?” Han Yunxi knew he wouldn’t stay long and could only stand in silent tribute to Mu Linger.
“Right now!” If not for the sake of meeting Han Yunxi, Gu Qishao would have left ages ago. “Are you planning to settle down in South Ning long term? Until the three nations finish their war?”
“I’ll take a trip to Celestial Mountain so I’ll probably stay there for a bit,” Han Yunxi replied in a low voice.
“Celestial Mountain? What for?” Gu Qishao grew curious. “Is Long Feiye going to do training? Now’s not the time, right?”
Han Yunxi couldn’t help but smile wryly at him. Gu Qishao was extremely intelligent, but he never cared about the current political climate. Anyone who did would know that Long Feiye was going to Celestial Mountain to draw the martial arts forces to his side. If Gu Beiyue was a man who took fame and fortune lightly, then Gu Qishao was a man with no concept of them at all. He eternally lived in his own carefree world, doing as he liked without being tied down by any obligations. Han Yunxi liked him a lot, but there wasn’t a hint of romantic affection in it.
Gu Qishao rubbed his chin in thought. “With Long Feiye’s martial arts skills, actually...he doesn’t need to train any further. If I was him, I’d take you to eat delicious food and tour scenic spots together. What’s with all this training?”
“I just like watching him train,” Han Yunxi was always on Long Feiye’s side.
“Han Yunxi, just what do you like about Long Feiye?” Although Gu Qishao was smiling, his question gave Han Yunxi a start. It had been a long time since he’d called her by name.
“What I like...I don’t know either,” she said lightly.
“Seriously?” Gu Qishao disliked the answer. In the end, he took out a blood-red wild mushroom the size of his fist from out of his robes and stuffed it into her hands before walking away without a glance.
“Hey, what is this?”
“Aren’t you going to have a meal together before you leave? Gu Qishao! Old Fiend!”
Gu Qishao didn’t look back. He just waved a hand and said, “Remember to miss your Qi gege once in a while. Wait for my good news!”
“You be careful out there!” Han Yunxi chased a few steps after him, but Gu Qishao quickly vanished from sight. She looked at the wild mushroom in her hands and had a fright. It was the perfect remedy for females to enrich their blood and recover vitality! It took at least five to six hundred years for the mushroom to grow to this size.
She stared at it for a long time, filled with mixed feelings, before breaking into a helpless smile. “You fool…”
Han Yunxi didn’t give such a precious blood mushroom to Mu Linger, but had Su Xiaoyu take it to the pharmacy’s storehouse for safekeeping. By the time she reached the back courtyard, Lil Thing was already running out to leap into her arms with a high-pitched cheep…
Han Yunxi immediately muffled its mouth. “Did Gu Beiyue inject you with stimulants?”
Lil Thing had been guarding Gu Beiyue’s side ever since their return from the Medicine Requesting Cave. This was the first time it was returning to her side.
Inside the rooms, Long Feiye heard Lil Thing’s cheep and grew puzzled. “What’s that rat squeaking about now?”
“It seems esteemed wangfei has arrived.” Gu Beiyue understood Lil Thing best of all, just as Lil Thing understood him.
Without a word, Long Feiye left. Gu Beiyue smiled lightly before carefully putting away Long Feiye’s teacup. By the time Han Yunxi entered with Lil Thing in her arms, there was no sign of Long Feiye’s visit at all.
“Greetings to esteemed wangfei.”
Gu Beiyue was eternally warm and unassuming. Even if he couldn’t stand, he cupped his hands in greeting from his wheelchair. Han Yunxi always chose to ignore his formalities. She sat in the seat just recently occupied by Long Feiye and poured herself a cup of tea. “When did you start liking tea?”
From what she recalled, she’d seen him drinking by himself multiple times in past visits.
“I’m more idle than before,” Gu Beiyue replied and smiled.
“Not for long, I expect. The patients who want to make appointments with you are long enough to form a line stretching out of the city.” Han Yunxi grinned. It was so comfortable talking to him that she’d inevitably smile and forget all of her annoyances. But she’d hardly finished speaking when Lady Helian and Little Yi’er cried out from the entrance.
“Yunxi, so you were here! We were looking for you everywhere!”
“Big sis, you’re finally back! Is my master back as well?”
It was rare for Gu Beiyue and Han Yunxi to have time alone, but what coincidence had sent Lady Helian and Little Yi’er right their way? A helpless glance flitted past Gu Beiyue’s eyes at the development. Very soon, Lady Helian and Little Yi’er both entered the room. The former was still as lovely as always with an elegant and charming figure accented by natural grace. Time apart from Little Yi’er had seen him grow taller. Han Yunxi could still remember the six-year-old boy she’d saved years ago at the Han Estate. Now he was almost ten. Though his features weren’t as fine as freshly carved jade like the past, he still gave off a clean, pure air. His clear eyes looked more stubborn than before as well.
As soon as Han Yunyi saw Gu Beiyue on his wheelchair, he almost burst into tears. He had already heard of the man getting injured.
“Yi’er….” That was all Gu Beiyue said.
Han Yunyi sniffled a few times before holding back his tears. “Master, when will you get better?”
“A month’s worth of rest should do it,” Gu Beiyue said honestly.
Lady Helian was concerned as well. “Doctor Gu, if there’s anything you need, just speak up. There’s no need to be polite.”
Gu Beiyue returned her words with a smile. The whole topic was rather heavy, so Han Yunxi diverted the subject. “Yi’er, when did you formally get apprenticed to a master?”
“Doctor Gu accepted me as his official disciple ages ago. Big sis, I’m not going to test for the exams at the medical academy anymore. I’ll just study solely from master and go there when I’m older.” Little Yi’er’s wisdom had matured with his age.
“You’ve turned sensible! Come here, let big sister hug you!” Han Yunxi was very happy.
However, Han Yunyi only stood in place with a conflicted expression as the tips of his ears turned red.
“Aiya, this child now knows the differences between men and women,” Han Yunxi teased as she laughed out loud. Children in ancient times matured early but expressed themselves in different ways. No wonder Little Yi’er was embarrassed.
“Come here, I won’t do anything improper. Don’t worry.” Han Yunxi grinned as she beckoned with a finger.
Only then did Little Yi’er go over. Han Yunxi rubbed his hair and asked, “So which level have you studied to now?”
Although he wasn’t getting formally examined, the physician rankings of the medical academy were still good enough for consultations. Han Yunyi was about to reply when Gu Beiyue cut in, “You have the skills for a third-rank Adept, but your experience and temperament will only limit you as a second-rank Scholar. Little Yi’er, remember: healing skills are only a portion of the physician’s skills, not the whole.”
“Yes, disciple will accept the instruction carefully,” Little Yi’er replied docilely.
“Doctor Gu will be at Pill Fiend Pharmacy in the future. You’ll have to learn well from him, understand? It’s not everyone who gets this chance,” Han Yunxi said seriously.
Little Yi’er hastily added, “Big sis, wait until I reach Divine Doctor rank. Then I can be one of the on-site doctors at Pill Fiend Pharmacy too, alright? You can send me to any pharmacy you’d like.”
“Don’t tell me you’re studying medicine for big sister’s sake?” Han Yunxi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
But Han Yunyi was absolutely serious as he replied, “Of course! Big sister saved Yi’er’s life. When Yi’er grows up, I’ll protect big sister!”
Although Han Yunxi didn’t need that kind of protection, she couldn’t help but hug Little Yi’er to her chest after those words with conflicted feelings.
“Little Yi’er, you have to protect your mother when you grow up, and then your wife and children. You should study medicine because of your talents and interests, and for the sake of saving patients. Understood?” Han Yunxi instructed.
Little Yi’er paused for a long time before he whispered back, “Then can I add protecting my big sister into that, too?”
“Of course you can!” Han Yunxi agreed easily. But hearing her words, a trace of worry and complex emotions flickered against the soft gaze of Lady Helian…Previous Chapter Next Chapter